What is the YLC?
The Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a program for returning youth who have made an additional commitment to become stewards of Y-WE culture, to contribute their ideas on the direction of the organization and to cultivate their skills as leaders within Lead and in the greater community.
YLC curriculum explores
Self awareness, self confidence, finding your purpose, varying definitions of leadership, how to work independently and as a part of a team, assessing and cultivating sphere of influence, workshop design and delivery, financial planning, non profit board roles and responsibilities, working with budgets, and comfort with public speaking.
YLC News & Updates
The YLC members have kept busy during the 2017-18 school year! We’re thrilled to highlight a few exciting updates:
Nasra & Namaka performing on MLK Day
MLK Day Poem:
Instead of taking a day off on MLK Day 2018, Y-WE decided to join the annual MLK Day Rally and March hosted by Garfield High School and the City of Seattle. This year’s theme was “Take a Knee for Justice.” YLC members Nasra Ali and Namaka Auwae-Dekker wrote and performed a politically charged slam poem in front of an audience of thousands at the rally at Westlake Center.
YLC Health Day Workshops:
During Y-WE’s annual Health Day, five members of the YLC and one adult mentor designed and facilitated workshops to promote discussion about health in their community. They each chose topics they cared about. Each workshop had about 20 participants in attendance:
• Namaka and Anna C.: Disability Justice
• Zaria and Nasra: Hip Hop and Mental Illness
• Sophie and Sonja: Healthy Cooking
Let’s Talk Race Series:
Organized by Nafasi Ferrell (Y-WE Mentor) and featuring Y-WE’s Youth Leadership Council, this powerful event series challenges institutional racism by connecting community organizations and individuals through film, dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice.
Here’s a recap of the first event (“Migration and the World”) from YLC member Zoya:
Radical truth and engaging facilitation came together at Race and Migration workshop, part of the Let’s Talk Race series sponsored by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. The workshop was led by two participants from Young Women Empowered’s Youth Leadership Council, Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker and Rosario Lopez, and Christina Antonakas Wallace, a local filmmaker, who is currently working on a documentary about immigration. There were 50 people in attendance, representing a wide range of gender, age, and ethnicity. The workshop invited participants to share their personal experiences with migration through a variety of activities, including an interactive timeline highlighting the racist legislation against immigrants throughout history in the US. The purpose of Let’s Talk Race is to create community through dialogue about race and the ways it impacts our lives through a variety of lenses such as religion, migration patterns, education, economics. And that’s exactly what happened at the Race and Migration workshop.
Learn more and view the full calendar here. Check out this video from the event:
Hello! I’m Nasra, I’m 16 years old and I am a junior at Shorecrest High School. I’m in Y-WE because it gives me a safe place to be myself, and get better at doing just that. I specifically joined the YLC because I knew it would allow me to build on my leadership and organizational skills and I can proudly say that I have not been disappointed. I’ve only been involved for a few months, but it feels as though I’ve known these people forever. A goal of mine is to hopefully work at a teen hotline sometime in the near future. I feel most empowered when I’m taking part in something that I know will bring joy and happiness to my life and the lives of others, whether that be giving someone a helping hand or just talking to them, and that’s exactly what Y-WE does.
Aarushi (She/Her) is currently a rising sophmore at Big Picture School, with a passion for equity and activism. I believe a supportive and collaborative community is the greatest gift someone can receive because of its ability to unlock empowerment potential. I plan to fervently work to spread leadership education and to facilitate positive change. I commit to learn as much as I can on the YLC and utilize my skills to provide insight into intricate social issues. This is the reason I joined the Youth Leadership Council. My goal for this year is to spend more time on my self-care, compassion, and self-awareness, while educating others about these as well. In my spare time I enjoy baking, volunteering, painting reading (open to any book recommendations), photography, and hiking. I also enjoy expressing my creativity through singing, writing, film, music and dance.
Zoya, 17, She/Her pronouns. Franklin High School.
I feel most empowered when I am with my Y-WE community, where I am encouraged to follow my heart and dreams, and get to form relationships with womxn of all ages and backgrounds. I’m part of the YLC because
I want to help shape the future of Y-WE. I want to make sure the organization remains true to its core values and stays centered on the youth. My goal for this year is to get more involved, especially within my role in the strategic planning committee of the Y-WE board of directors.
Zaria, she/her, 17 .Thomas Jefferson High school. I feel most empowered when performing spoken word poetry or helping others. I am a part of the YLC because I want to help make those that are new to the Y-WE community feel welcome. A goal I have for this year is to learn how to facilitate a workshop.
Hi! My name is Sonja and I am a 16 year old junior at Nova High School. I love to sing and read and have interesting conversations that expand my mind. This is my second year in Y-WE and it is one of my favorite places ever. Y-We creates a space where I can feel safe while trying to discover and explore things about myself while also helping me learn about others, increasing my knowledge of other women different then me. The thing I love most about Y-WE is the community it gives me. I know that whatever I am feeling or whatever situation I am in there are always many women behind me, supporting me, giving me more confidence in other aspects of my life to try new things.
Hello! My name is Mya and I have been a part of Y-WE since summer 2017. I am a junior and I attend University Prep. Since 6thgrade I knew my passions were art and activism. I didn’t know exactly what kind of social justice work I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to make a difference for my communities. I am very interested in helping other victims of oppression be lifted back up emotionally, mentally and spiritually by helping to build their self-esteem and self-awareness. I hope that through Y-WE I get to practice developing my strengths and weaknesses in leadership skills so that I can convey my passion to other people.
Hi! My name is Robin. I prefer she/her pronouns, and I’m 16. I attend Bellevue College, where I’m doing an early college program. I feel empowered when I’m dancing ballet. I’ve been dancing for over a decade, and it makes me feel strong. I joined the YLC because I loved being in the Lead Program last year, and wanted to be an even bigger part of Y-WE. My goal is to become more confident in my leadership and facilitation skills.
My name is Rahma. I prefer she and her pronouns. I’m 17 years old and attending the Center School. I feel most empowered when I’m a part of a community that loves and supports me for who I am and doesn’t judge my character based on my race or religious beliefs. I am a part of YLC because I want to discover my leadership skills and to give a voice to youth/ young women like myself who feel like they don’t have a voice in our community. My goal this year is to grow as a young leader and to give back to those who are important to me.
My name is Sophie. I am a senior at Cedarcrest High School and also concurrently finishing up my second year at Bellevue College through Running Start. I feel most empowered when I am speaking or singing on stage. I joined YLC to bring more girls into the Y-WE programs. This year my goal is to lead more workshops and to learn more tips on public speaking before I enroll in a university.
Adanech, she/her. Garfield high school. I feel most empowered when I feel that I have contributed to a person’s life positively. I feel most empowered when I help make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and when I make a beneficial difference emotionally or physically in my own life. I became part of YLC because I believe in Y-WE and what it stands for. I want to grow as a leader and in doing so help Y-WE carry out its mission of helping girls grow as leaders in all aspects of their life. My goal this year is to grow my skills as a leader and learn what kind of leader I would like to become. I want to use the skills I learn around me and see what kind of response they get. I want to learn skills that can be understood by many different thinkers and can be useful for girls, I want to make a difference in girls lives.
Eleanor (she/her) 15. Bellevue Big Picture High School. I feel most empowered when I am speaking and people are listening, regardless of what I’m speaking about. It makes me feel powerful to know that someone is listening and taking into account what I have to say. Because I am a good speaker, I often end up the leader of group projects. I am part of the YLC because I love YWE and I want to help make it the best place it can be for all of us. I also want to form closer relationships at YWE and being in the YLC should help me do that. My goal this year is to help get a lot of female scientists at Career Day and Stem Day.
Hola!! My name is Rosario. I’m 16 years old. I go by she/her. I go to Decatur High School in Federal Way. I like to dance, eat, smile, and I always maintain a positive attitude. I enjoy helping people around me and I love Y-WE. This is my third year joining the Y-WE program and I love it! This year I’m part of the YLC program because I want to learn how to facilitate. My goal this year is to built a strong relationship with my community and family, and be more confident within myself.
Hi everyone! My name is McKenzie (I go by Ken) and this is my first year as a part of YLC. I am 17 years old and a senior at Hazen High School who also does running start at Bellevue College. Some of my favorite things to do are read, write, and walk my dog. I feel most empowered when I am able to use my voice to stand up for myself and others and when I am able to educate people and teach them something they may not know. I am part of YLC because for the past 2 years I have done other programs within Y-WE and really love the organization and the people within it. Being a part of YLC is a way to not only improve my individual leadership and community outreach skills but also do so within an organization and with people I both respect and enjoy. My goal this year is to not only become more confident in my leadership abilities, but to be able to use those abilities to create change within my community.
Aloha! My name is Ha’aheo and I use They/Them pronouns. I am 17 years old and I am a senior at The Center School. This is my 3rd year in the YLC. Honestly I feel most empowered when I can walk up hills, run, dance hula, etc. without feeling chronic pain. Being physically empowered makes me feel emotionally empowered. I’m a part of the YLC because I love being a part of Y-WE and making positive impacts on my fellow youth and community. Who said mentors don’t need help once in awhile? I’m here to help them out! I honestly just love helping people and being a leader in my community. Shout out to Y-WE for helpin’ me realize that. My goal this year is to go out with bang! I want to lead workshops, positively change Y-WE and myself, and be the role model I wish I had before I joined Y-WE. I want to extend the loving community energy of Y-WE to other spaces and use the leadership skills I’ve learned to make active social change with my club at school, Y-WE, and any opportunities I seize this year!
Hi my name is Emma. I use she/her pronouns. I am 16 and currently a sophomore at the Northwest School. I feel most empowered when I am in nature and going on walks, I feel that it grounds me which make it so then I can have more of a positive impact on those around me. I am part of YLC because Y-WE has shaped my life to be more positive and has given me connections to people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise which I am thankful for. To be able to give back to an organization that has done so much for me makes me feel like I am supporting those around me and also growing my own leadership in the process. My goal this year is to learn about how to better respect myself and my experiences and then see how that can be used in helping those around me. I also really want to engage in more conversations that challenge my point of view and are meaningful.
Hello! My name is Garo. I’m 16 years old. I’m a junior at Decatur High School and I’m currently enrolled in the running start program where I’m working toward getting my AA in early childhood learning. I’ve been in Y-WE Lead for 3 years and I enjoy napping, referencing vines, and making new friends! Y-WE has shaped me as a leader throughout the years and has provided a safe space where I and many other young women can be themselves without judgment.
My name is Vivian, I’m 17 and a senior at the Center School. I feel most empowered when surrounded by people I know believe in me and support my ambition. I’m a part of the YLC because Y-WE is an amazing organization, and I want to be a part of improving the program to make it more accessible and applicable to the youth it serves. My goal this year is to step back and help other youth step into leadership roles in the Y-WE community. I love the leadership opportunities Y-WE has provided me and I want to enable as many other youth to seek out those opportunities as possible!