What does it take to work together effectively as a team? How can we become culturally competent and what does it mean to be an ally? How do we take care of ourselves with our wellness recovery action plans? How do we understand and take care of our own mental health and the mental health of others? What does it mean to be a support to our peers? These were all topics that we tackled head-on over the course of 5 weeks with nearly two dozen young adults and participants in our annual youth leadership series. In fact, this summer we provided trainings for youth and young adults-between the ages of 13 and 24- on these crucial skillsets, and we have seen amazing growth in the youth who participated and have had great success overall. The youth who participated not only left these trainings equipped with a toolbelt of invaluable knowledge and skills that will help them continue their own successes, but they also left better leaders, and we cannot wait to see how they utilize their newfound skills and knowledge in their own lives, in their communities, and through the advocacy work and opportunities Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina and North Carolina Families United provides on a daily basis.
It was truly incredible to see Youth Leadership Series Alums, such as Logan and Latasha- who are now Youth Move NC President and Vice President, step up and take leadership roles and even help facilitate a few trainings. It was amazing to witness youth meet new friends, confide in one another, and create lasting relationships with their peers. It was a privilege to be apart of an opportunity for growth for these youth, not only individually but as a group and with each other. It was these outcomes that truly motivates us to do the work we do, and to provide opportunity and experience to help impact the next generation of leaders.
We simply cannot express enough our gratitude to the trainers who did a truly fantastic job equipping the youth with the skills they need to become great leaders- Pam Burton, Frederick Douglass,Brad Biggerstaff, and Gail Cormier- you all ROCK!!!. We would like to thank the parents and volunteers who helped the youth be present by providing transportation. We know that your time is precious, and we appreciate your trust in us to ensure the youth you love and care for have fun and are impacted by our trainings. We would like to say thank you to the local restaurants who catered the food, and Painted Grape for allowing us the space to be creative and work together as a team. We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Turrentine Middle School and Graham Middle School for generously donating their space! And lastly, and most importantly, thank you to the youth who attended, participated, and blew us away with their maturity, their reception to new information and skill sets, and their willingness to give up 5 Saturdays to become better leaders! We simply cannot wait to see what you do next!
Until next year….