Young Women Empowered

Our Programs

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Y-WE LEAD

Do you want to develop true friendships with your peers and learn from amazing mentors? Do you want to learn how to take action on issues that matter to you?  Do you want to build your resume and skills so that you can achieve your future dreams—including college and career? Do you want to take creative workshops on topics like dance, music, cooking, art, fashion, and more? Do you want to be part of a program where YOUR opinion matters and YOU get to tell the adults which topics YOU want the program to cover?

Then Y-WE LEAD is the right program for you! Y-WE LEAD events will be held 1-2 Saturdays per month from October – May.

Y-WE Nature Connections

Experience the power and beauty of the natural world up close with our second school year program! In Y-WE Nature Connections, we discover and explore natural areas close to home in and around Seattle, as well as take longer expeditions to the North Cascades National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, and the Olympics National Park.

In a supportive and diverse community of girls and women, Y-WE Nature Connections participants have fun exploring the outdoors, actively engage our bodies, encounter the beauty of wilderness, deepen our relationship with ourselves, practice skills that promote safety and resilience in the outdoors, explore our relationship with nature and people, and discover ways we and our communities can be good stewards of our natural environment, protecting our earth for future generations.

There will be, on average, 2 Y-WE Nature Connect events every month between October – May.

Career Day 2016

Explore skills…knowledge…professional empowerment…networking opportunities….and inspiration. Over 20 interactive workshops that will help you set and meet goals for your future! Hear from diverse professional women who have volunteered to share their authentic stories of career challenges and success. Y-WE’s community partners will share job, internship and summer adventure opportunities for those in attendance. Career fields covered will range from: medicine, arts, law, fashion, tech, dance, media, government, non-profit, education, entrepreneurship, business, and beyond.

Y-WE WRITE Summer Camp

Do you want to get in touch with your own voice, tell your own stories, listen to the powerful words of others, and ignite change in the world? In Y-WE WRITE you will get to work with professional teaching artists from the famous women’s writing institute Hedgebrook who specialize in spoken word, playwriting, memoir, poetry, songwriting, and more! You will collaborate with 40 teen girls and 20 Y-WE mentors and facilitators who are all passionate about speaking and writing powerful stories that can change the world. No experience in writing or performing is necessary!

Y-WE SPEAK Summer Camp

Every girl’s story matters. Every girl’s voice is important. SPEAK and be HEARD! Y-WE Speak is an amazing opportunity to learn life skills through theater and writing workshops with professional artists, alongside awesome peers and mentors.No theater or performance experience necessary. At Y-WE Speak you will work with 25 teen girls and 10 mentors. This program is based at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Y-WE Payment Policy

Y-WE is available to any girl who wants to participate, and no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. We ask each family to consider what they can contribute to Y-WE to help cover the costs of our program. Tuition is available on a sliding scale, and we are happy to work with girls and their families to ensure that our programs are affordable.

Y-WE Values & Philosophy

At Y-WE we believe leaders are community builders. They know where they come from and they understand their strengths and areas for growth. They examine power, privilege and oppression in their own and others’ lives, and take action for social justice and equity. As global citizens, they can skillfully connect and communicate with people from different generations, cultures, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.

We recognize that how we operate matters as much as our programs’ focus. The research-based strategies that form the backbone of our programs include:

Access: Y-WE fills a vital niche, since many girls (from immigrant families in particular) are not allowed to attend dual-gender programs and lack transport. Y-WE provides scholarships, safety, cultural respect, transport and meals for all programs in order to insure that girls from all walks of life are able to enroll.

Engaged mentorship: In Y-WE programs, adult women mentors participate in every activity alongside young women. Mentors model positive risk-taking and a willingness to be transformed, which motivates young women to engage fully.

Girls’ leadership skills: The young women we serve are involved in the leadership of Y-WE at every level. They learn leadership by engaging in program development, co-facilitating sessions, teaching workshops, participating in staff and board meetings, serving on a Youth Leadership Council to directly advise our staff and board, and more. Every Y-WE program works to activate young women’s leadership.

Intergenerational and intercultural understanding:  Y-WE offers participants the opportunity to connect with and learn from girls and women from many countries, cultures, and religions.  Y-WE activities unfold in a vibrant community built around sustained and authentic mentor relationships.

Positive girl culture: Y-WE offers a safe community in which girls can practice the skills of communication, conflict resolution, and compassion. We talk openly about the culture of competition that is often encouraged between women and practice strategies for changing these behavioral norms.

Finding one’s voice: Young women develop confident self-expression through workshops in theater, creative writing, spoken word, percussion, dance, singing, outdoor activities, and conversation. Girls learn to speak out about their beliefs and brainstorm ways to help their communities. Our arts workshops often employ PYE Global’s world-renowned Creative Community Model (its co-developer serves on our board), found by independent evaluators to “excel at fostering youth identity development, and motivating youth to take action in their community” (Basham and Murray, 2013).

Supporting the whole girl: Much best practice research that addresses “girl-friendly” programming stresses “holistic design…activities to address girls’ comprehensive needs (including economic, developmental, social, and learning)” (Population Council, 2009). The container of our mentor community and consistent strategies ensure a structure that integrates diverse program content. In a deeply supportive community, girls find their voices, explore education and career possibilities, and emerge as social justice advocates and vibrant change-makers.