Elected officials hosted the annual "Youth Speaks" event in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx Tuesday.
The event aims to encourage young people across the borough to have open discussions about issues that affect them. This year it focused on bullying, stereotypes, ethics and healthy living. Organizers and participants said it's important for young people to talk about these issues.
"So it's just a better way to improve the community by having again, real talk with young people and having them participate in the development as opposed to barking orders, let them evolve into the decision-making process," said Councilman Andy King.
"Kids usually can't express their feelings so they usually keep it bottled in. So I think it's kind of good that we can talk to people and they can understand how we feel," said participant Sasha Lopez.
Hundreds of students representing 15 schools took part in the event.
The program is now in its eighth year.