• advancingleadershipfw

New Program Day Equips Students to Face Challenges

ALY '17 enjoy an empowerment huddle.

Homelessness, suicide prevention, and human trafficking are very real concerns in the lives of our local youth. In conversations with ALY learners, we heard that they want more information about how to deal with these issues in their own lives as well as the lives of their peers.

These interests are being addressed with a new program day piloted recently with the ALY ’17 class. The goal of Youth Empowerment Day is to arm students with knowledge about services that are needed and available, but that aren’t always well publicized among local teens. As emerging community leaders, we want ALY students to be armed with practical information as well as hope that they can share with their peers in and outside of school.

Several local agencies, including Multi-Service Center, Valley Cities Counseling, Reach Out and the Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking, participated in a resource fair, allowing ALY learners to talk face-to-face with representatives about the people and issues each agency addressed, the services they offered, and how youth could access their support. A representative from Federal Way Public Schools was also present to lead a discussion about how ALY could bring what they learned back to their schools.

"Youth Empowerment Day opened my eyes to all the organizations and ways there are to get involved in my city, even as a teenager in high school,” Victoria Algarme, ALY ’17 said. “It showed me … so many ways I can impact my community and ultimately the broader community as well."