It has been a hard year for our youth advocates. Not because we are struggling to connect with young people in our ‘normal’ way, but because the impact of COVID-19 has really brought to light systemic and social barriers young people in our community face. It has been even more important for our youth program to find ways to engage the young people in our community in conversations about healthy relationships and violence prevention, amidst these hardships. Stories of success lie within the barriers we have been able to move through to continue providing a safe and healing space for young people to have hard conversations about dating abuse, gender based violence and sexual abuse. We are moved every day at the resilience and courage our young people demonstrate by encouraging their peers to reframe social patterns of power and control in their dating relationships and friendships. This year, we have had young folks engage in virtual healthy relationship workshops, participate in art campaigns, and engage with our advocates through social media. As advocates we are energized by the creativity and excitement we are seeing through our social media platforms as our participants continue to reach out for more information, and opportunities to get involved in their communities. We feel that our relationship with the youth in our community is only growing stronger as we continue navigating our new normal and exploring how to end relationship violence together!
Some recent feedback from youth and educators:
“Such good info for our VHS kids! Thank You for taking the time to inform us. It really went well!" -It’s On Us Club @ Vallivue High School
“Thank You for taking your time with us and advising us on relationships, because in high school it’s hard to distinguish who your true friends are and separating ourselves from toxic people.”
“Thank you for coming in, I learned some new things even though I thought I knew what a healthy relationship was.”
“Thank You for coming to the FPA and presenting the healthy relationship workshop. We appreciate your dedication to this important topic.” -Fruitland Prep Academy.
“Thank you so much for investing in the lives of our future. As you know, this is such an incredibly important topic. You are making a big impact on the lives of my students. We appreciate your time and spending it with us.” -Jefferson Middle School
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