Youth In Action (YIA) has moved mountains for many Providence youth members. YIA is an nonprofit, after school program designed to promote youth by allowing youth members to run the organization and have voices of their own within their communities. Many Providence teens face barriers growing up due to the color of their skin and feel that they cannot voice their opinions due to their age. Youth In Action breaks down these barriers.
In the document, A World Where Youth Hold the Power, Adeola Oredola and members of Youth In Action talk about their own stories and reasons to get involved as well as the importance behind it. Oredola shares her story of how her high school guidance counselor told her she would never get into Brown University because of the high school she came from. Oredola proved the guidance counselor wrong and got into the University. When she began her journey at Brown University she quickly learned the reality of lack of education many Providence students like herself face. Oredola wanted to become the voice for youth members and make the changes needed to provide underprivileged students well deserved educations.
From experience, youth feel important and valued when they are given the opportunity to speak and show their ideas while educators and mentors take the side lines. From mentoring in a Central Falls middle school, I can relate to the feelings directors and coordinators feel at YIA-- It is empowering to allow the voices of tomorrow become the voices of today. Kids have great ideas too and want to be involved in their communities, schools, and political debates-- these things matter to them! At Central Falls middle school, colleagues and myself facilitated activities and talked about what it meant to be a "leader." Students became more confident in the time spent together. Students wanted to talk and give their ideas and lead discussions. YIA models the ability to lead with different "hats" to be able to accomplish new goals and give more youth members the confidence and justice they need in order to be successful.