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Tweenangels / Events / WiredKids Summit / February 25, 2009 / Press Releases / Ninth Annual WiredKids Summit

Ninth Annual WiredKids Summit

Teens and Preteens to Advise Capitol Hill Leaders, Industry Executives and State and Federal Policymakers at DC Teen-Run Summit February 25, 2009

Washington, DC. February 23, 2009: In a recent poll 55% of teenagers admitted to using a webcam, 22% regretted what they had done on a webcam and 71% said they use their webcams in their room! How do we know? Teen and preteen cyberexperts in WiredSafety’s Teenangels and Tweenangels programs know what other teens and preteens are doing because they ask. And they ask for a very good reason – to make the Internet safer and their peers better educated.

As part of their two year certification program, these young, cybersavvy volunteers must conduct independent research and present it in an effort to educate both parents and teens—polling their peers on what they do, why they do it and the results of risky behavior online. Their data is among the most accurate reported on how young people operate in cyberspace and is eagerly sought by the industry. These teens and tweens present their research to some of the most powerful and influential government and corporate organizations—testifying before Congress, presenting programs for the UK Parliament, working with state and federal law enforcement agencies and policymakers as well as the leading industry members such as Xbox, AOL, Disney, Nickelodeon, Webkinz, Procter & Gamble and the Today Show. These teens have what it takes to advocate for their generation regarding cybersafety—advising the government, industry leaders and media—giving them the inside scoop on their research and survey findings at the 9 th Annual Wired Kids Summit held at the US Senate Building (Dirksen G-50) on February 25 th, 2009 from 9am to 3:30pm at a packed, by-invitation-only event.

Each year more than 100 teen and tween representatives from Teenangels and Tweenangels present their findings and advice on Capitol Hill to an audience comprised of leaders from all stakeholder groups. Senior executives from Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Microsoft, Lego, Xbox, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Webkinz, Disney and senior representatives from the FTC, Canadian law enforcement, DOJ and the state Attorneys General offices will sit at attention, captivated by the expert voices of these extraordinary kids as they share the latest data with a maturity and perception far beyond their years.

Some of their recent findings are shocking. 86% of teens ages 13 and older, recently polled by a group of our expert Teenangels, stated that they possessed social networking profiles. 63% of those teens admitted to having over 100 “friends” on these networks. And a shocking 20% of the tweens (ages 12 and under) and the thirteen year olds questioned, indicated that they had met face-to-face with people they had only known online! Industry leaders, government officials and parents alike must be aware of the realities of how young people use technology, and how often they put themselves at risk. The accuracy and honesty of the data is a direct result of teens and preteens trusting their peers with the information they would not entrust to an adult researcher, especially one who contacted them through their parents.

The 9 th Annual Wired Kids Summit is fully-booked, however, Parry Aftab—WiredSafety’s Executive Director, noted cybersecurity lawyer and Teenangels founder—says there is always room for Congressional and Senatorial leaders who care about our kids, “The more they know, the better they can legislate.”

The Teenangels and Tweenangels, their 7-12 year old counterparts, are always excited to meet all of the industry leaders, government officials and media, but this year they have just one request: “Is the White House coming?”

The kids want to share what they know with President Obama and the First Lady. “They have kids too,” said Casi, one of this year’s WiredSafety’s Teenangels of the Year, “We can help them keep their kids safer online and teach them about the great sites they can use safely.” Shannon, who shares the distinction with Casi as Teenangel of the Year said, “With all the pressure to keep costs down, WiredSafety and Teenangels provide their expertise for free. And we recruit other teens and preteens in local communities to learn and teach others. How’s that for stimulus?” (Shannon is one of the editorial board members of the new Girl Scouts cybersafety initiative and has testified before Congress – twice!)

Teenangels are the most recognized and knowledgeable source of cybercitizenship and safe technology use. They come from across the US paying their own way to meet the leaders in Washington every year. These kids aren’t part of the problem; they are part of the solution.

Want to know what kids and teens are doing online? Ask a Teenangel! Everyone else does.

About WiredSafety  is a 501(c) (3) charity and the largest and oldest online safety, education, and help group in the world. Originating in 1995 as a group of volunteers rating Web sites, it now provides one-to-one help, extensive information, and education to cyberspace users of all ages on a myriad of Internet and interactive technology safety issues. These services are offered through a worldwide organization comprised entirely of volunteers who administer specialized websites and programs.  volunteers range in age from 18 to 80 and run the gamut from TV personalities, teachers, law enforcement officers, PhD's, writers and librarians to stay-at-home moms, retired persons, and students.’s founder and Executive Director, cyberlawyer Parry Aftab, is also an unpaid volunteer. With the exception of its outreach, law enforcement training and speaking programs, all work and help is provided online and free of charge. ###

Media Contacts:

Parry Aftab, Executive Director

Samantha Pearson

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