130 Teens Advocate for Causes Crucial to Teens July 11-15June 11, 2011 (SEATTLE)
—As lawmakers on Capitol Hill remain divided over federal budget talks, a group of 130 at-risk teens from across the country will unite in Washington, D.C., to advocate for an end to youth violence in their local communities and passage of the Youth PROMISE Ac
t now on the Congressional chopping block. The students represent World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)
, a national effort that trains local youth to be agents of positive change.
The fifth annual Youth Empowerment Summit will be in held in Washington, D.C., July 11-15. On July 14th, students will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their individual representatives. Teens will share personal stories relevant to their communities. Some YEP students focused on youth violence. Some are focusing on education and other issues as well.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports murder and some other violent crimes rose last year by nearly 14 percent. According to a new study
* conducted for World Vision
, nearly 1 in 2 adults cite a “lack of adult supervision” as the number one factor causing gang violence among youth. More than 60% of young people now say that social media is allowing more youth to participate in social movements they may otherwise not be aware of. July 11-15th students will tweet about their impressions of Washington, D.C., and what they’re learning (see social media links).
The student advocates represent nearly a dozen U.S. locations where World Vision is working, including Chicago, New York, D.C., Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Twin Cities, and Appalachia
. Many teens have witnessed or experienced youth violence in their cities first-hand. Each student completes a 20-week, in-depth youth leadership and mentoring training series. The training allows teens to talk with their peers about problems in their communities, advocate for solutions and present them to Congress at the Youth Empowerment Summit.STUDENT PROFILES INCLUDE:Los Angeles –
Sinnai Pedro has lived through the death of friends growing up in Pico Union, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles where violence and gang threats are a daily occurrence. But she is upbeat and passionate.Twin Cities –
Lucina Kayee grew up in West Africa ,witnessing her brother as he was taken away to become a child soldier. Once in America she’s spent time in foster homes. Now thanks in part to YEP, she’s planning to attend college.Chicago –
Sheila Howard was only 16 when her 19 year old sister was gunned down. “Everyone knew what happened”, says Sheila but no one said anything. Now she’s a World Vision YEP volunteer. Her daughter, Ve-esha is in YEP.Tacoma -
Milton “Chino” Celedron-Perez has struggled with gang involvement and alcohol abuse. YEP has helped him turn his life around. Now he’s involved with Marine ROTC at his high school.YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SCHEDULE AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSYEP PROJECT PRESENTATIONS:George Washington University, Marvin CenterWed. July 13 (6-8pm) Key speaker: Michael Eric Dyson
(www.michaelericdyson.com)YEP HILL DAYCapitol Hill – students meet with their local Congressional lawmakers)Thurs., July 14 (10am- 3pm)Ustream:http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wvyepsummithttp://www.ustream.tv/channel/wvyepprogramFacebook
(Delegates will use the hash tag #YEP
on all summit tweets)Email For Pics:YepSummit@gmail.com
For more information on the Youth Empowerment Program or the Youth Empowerment Summit visithttp://www.worldvisionusprograms.org/
.* The 2011 Youth Violence survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of World Vision, Inc. All data collection was done by telephone within the United States from May 13th – 16th, 2011 among 1,030 adults 18 years of age or older About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews