FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Civic education is not just about teaching government, but showing young people how to become informed engaged citizens. Many will tell you they don’t think they have a voice.

A non-profit group is not only listening to young people but showing them how to make an impact in their communities.

The students taking part in the event are from different school districts, different parts of Fresno County, and come from different backgrounds – but they are all coming together and learning how to participate in a democratic society.

Dr. Stephen Morris is with the civic education center, a non profit that works with schools to help students put civics into action.

“How do people make a difference – and that’s what civics is all about. How can I as a person living in this community be a part of it to bring change.”

At this youth summit held at Wonder Valley Ranch, high school students spent a weekend coming up with ideas that they will develop into proposals.

Sunnyside High senior Bryson Wiggins is concerned about gun violence and gangs. He says before we can find solutions we have to understand why it happens.

“The summit gives you the opportunity to step into everybody’s shoes, I feel as and really see life through everybody’s own different perspective.”

17-year-old Maritza Lua says she wants to show other young people that there is power in speaking up.

“I want people to understand that the words you say do mean something and they do matter.”