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Youth Advocacy Day 2020

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Afterschool and Summer News, Policy & Legislation, School's Out News

Youth Development Advocacy Day 2020 was a huge success! Over 100 individuals representing dozens of organizations involved in youth development turned up to get their messages out to their legislators. The event was co-sponsored by SOWA, YDEKC, Soar, Communities in Schools, Kids Co., the YMCA Statewide Alliance, and the Washington State Boys and Girls Clubs.

The morning began with some inspirational words from our Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib. He touched on his own experiences of growing up and the importance afterschool education played for him – especially in ensuring that as a child with blindness, he had the same access to opportunities that kids with sight had. We also heard from Mohamed Abdi, a current University of Washington student and mentor at East African Community Services. Mohamed spoke of his experience with expanded learning programs, and how it was so crucial in helping him adapt to life in the United States after emigrating from Somalia. Lastly, we heard from State Senator Claire Wilson who gave everyone a little more confidence in addressing their legislators. She encouraged those in attendance to cultivate relationships with their legislators by finding time to meet with them outside of advocacy day as well.

Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib talking to a group of youth on Advocacy Day 2020 in Olympia.

It was inspiring to see so many people passionate about youth development in one place. Not only were there youth development professionals present, but young people themselves many ready to advocate with their senators and representatives. The room was alive with energy, excitement, and determination - everyone ready to use the power of their own voice to rally for what matters to them. With inspirational “reach for the stars” messages, you can follow our campaign about why youth development matters to participants at #YDinAction.

Advocacy Day 2020 was a great reminder of the importance of community collaboration and participation in government. While we did not have a big “ask” of the legislature in this short session, we look forward to continuing to build momentum for state support for youth development programs including expanded learning, mentoring, and resource coordination.

We would like to thank all the groups in attendance. It is so important for our legislators to hear from us directly and we were excited to take advantage of the opportunity in such an effective way. We would also like to thank St. John’s Episcopal Church for so graciously hosting our event. We hope all of you who attended had a wonderful time and will join us next year.

For more information about current advocacy efforts or Youth Advocacy Day 2021, contact Hikma Sherka.

Posted in: Afterschool and Summer News, Policy & Legislation, School's Out News | Permalink | Share: Facebook Twitter

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