Hello, Everyone! My name is Cheyenne and I am currently a junior at Central High School. This is my third year in Y Street and my first year on the Y Street Leadership Team! I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s Empower Series. This opportunity was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event where I was able to share my ideas, advocate for change, and let my voice be heard.
For the first webinar “Youth Empowerment: When Youth Talk, We Listen – Passing the Microphone to the Next Generation”, I worked alongside youth leaders Sydney (Potomac HS) and Yvonne (Granby HS) to speak on how adults can build better strategies that work when talking to today’s youth. We each were able to share our powerful thoughts on why adults need to listen to youth and how to communicate with young people. Leading up to this event I was very excited to work and speak with people across Virginia and the United States.
For the second webinar “Youth Empowerment: When Youth Talk, We Listen – Pushing Policy for Youth Advocacy”, I facilitated the entire webinar by myself, which I found not only educational but very empowering! I led a discussion with advocates from Virginia Hunger Solutions and 6 Wheels Consulting LLC on how young leaders can engage with local policy-makers about decisions that impact their communities. During the session, we also talked about community leaders and how they too can develop strategies to connect youth to policymakers.
Overall, the topics we discussed relate to me on a personal level because each was specific to my interest in serving others and advocating for change when it is needed. I walked away wanting to have more conversations about youth engagement and a feeling of wanting to do more in my community and get other youth involved. I’ve always felt, and continue to feel, empowered to have the opportunity to use my voice in a positive manner to make a difference locally, statewide, or globally. I look forward to participating in more opportunities like this in the future!
To view VFHY’s Youth Empower Series, click here.