Youth Empowerment

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ASB participants developed relationships with homeless and trauma youth during the Youth Empowerment learning-service program in Seattle, Wash.

The Alternate Spring Break (ASB) participants, a part of the Youth Empowerment service-learning program, worked with four different organizations to empower homeless and trauma youth during their time in Seattle, Wash.

The ASB team worked alongside Ryther, America SCORES, YouthCare and First Place schools to help empower youth.

Freshman Ellen Massey enjoyed visiting the city of Seattle, while being able to work with organizations that are involved in helping underground social issues.

ASB participants were given insight on social issues in local communities. They engaged with, helped stabilize and interacted with homeless and trauma youth and children from low-income families ages kindergarten to sixth grade.

Their service included cooking and serving lunch to homeless youth, doing yard work at a residential treatment center for troubled youth, teaching the importance of community to children by playing with them during recess and encouraging good nutrition through visiting youth at lunch.

Sophomore Laura Jean Lichti enjoyed developing relationships with the youth they interacted with during the week.

“I saw a lot of children with ecstatic grins on their faces,” Lichti said. “They were hardly able to sit still because they were excited to interact with young adults who they look up to and relate better to than their teachers.”

The youth and organizations were appreciative of the ASB group’s time spent in Seattle.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” Lichti said. “I learned about what organizations are capable of accomplishing and how diverse an individual’s help can be. It was an incredible experience to be immersed in the issue for an entire week.”

Sophomore Morgan Seymour was a leader for the service-learning program. The experience motivated her to continue working with minority students.

“I want to continue to help those in need in the McMinnville community,” Seymour said. “It is important for ASB participants to spread the word about helping those in need in our immediate community.”

The ASB participants encourage their peers to volunteer during Global Service Day on April 20.

Sarah Mason/Features editor

Sarah Mason can be reached at [email protected]

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