By Kelsey Simmons
YES! Youth Staff, Senior at School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville
The YES! team completed a successful Youth Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina on January 24, 2015. During the day we facilitated two youth trainings focused on Food Access, Healthy Corner Stores, How to Talk to your Legislators and ended the day with an Action Plan. We also had an adult staff member with us from the Raleigh office that lead the adults in the group through 2 hours of training focusing on how to support the youth they partner with to advance food access work in their community.
The Alexander YMCA showed their support of the development of as youth advocates and access to healthier food options in the community by hosting this training. We started off the youth training with a new activity called Build Your Ideal Healthy Community that helps youth start thinking through the components of a healthy community and to show some of the barriers that communities face when trying to create improvements for their citizens. This was the first time we did this activity for such a big group and we were excited that it was a success! The youth participants were very engaged and loved the idea of creating their own healthy community.
During lunch, Representative Yvonne Holley from District 38 visited. She was excited about the fact that youth were so open to make a change in their own community. Representative Holley provided some motivational words to the youth and explained how exceptional it was for so many young people to want to make a change in their community. Nearing the end of the day, youth dispersed into the groups they came with and created an action plan to come up with some next steps for action after they leave the training. Because of this, five great action plans were formulated. At YES! we are excited to follow up with these youth to hear more about their success in implementing their action plans and their effective work in the community.
For more information about YES!’s work around local Food Access or this Summit, please contact Diana Manee at Diana@youthempoweredsolutions.org.