This piece is by Laura Parewski, AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader and coordinator of the Walltown Digital Connectors program.
A couple Thursdays ago, things looked a little different in the computer lab where the Walltown Digital Connectors usually meet: The room was full of balloons, pins, t-shirts and copies of an empowerment pledge, all placed there by representatives of the I Am Empowered Youth Tour.
The tour, sponsored by One Economy and the National Urban League in celebration of the league’s 100th anniversary, made stops at 11 Digital Connectors sites across the country. One of those sites was here in Walltown, where the Digital Connectors were joined by their peers from Walltown Aspiring Youth.
To kick off the tour visit, each Digital Connector presented a PowerPoint slide about what empowerment means to them. It was inspiring to listen to the youth talk about empowerment. Above is one of the slides, created by 17-year-old Digital Connector Kenya Hill.
The Walltown youth and I Am Empowered representatives, led by emcee Mo Stegall, explored issues of fear, empowerment and community in a series of interactive activities. Before the tour ended with pizza and cake, everyone signed the National Urban League I Am Empowered Pledge. And Stegall left the group with one piece of advice: You can only accomplish what you decide to try.
Hopefully the youth will take this message to heart, and through their self-empowerment, go on to empower others in their community.