In June, we held our second Young Women’s Leadership Program in Chico, California. Twelve young women with various backgrounds were selected from the community to participate. Community organizations that presented included, Sixth Street Drop-In Center, a shelter for homeless youth, Catalyst, a domestic violence response program and Stonewall Alliance Center, a resource for the LGBTQ+ community, to name a few. Reproductive health care information was shared by Women’s Health Specialists’ staff where the young women learned about the various forms of birth control, STD’s and had the opportunity to go on a clinic tour.
“This program is awesome! I made a lot of new friends and learned a lot about teen resources” YWLP Participant
For four days the young women learned about reproductive health care, life skills on budgeting and how to access community resources. They worked together harmoniously and friendships were built in the short amount of time they spent together.
We are still reviewing our pre and post surveys as well as evaluations forms that were filled out that I hope to share the results of in the next project update. However, based on all the verbal accolades from presenters and participants, the program was a huge success and we couldn’t have pulled it off without all those who continue to support this project!
With two Young Women’s Leadership Programs set to kick-off this summer, program organizers are currently recruiting for program participants and facilitators in both Chico and Sacramento, California. The selection process for both participants and facilitators relies heavily on the ties we have with community organizations.
Program participants are selected from various resources in the community. We are in contact with local agencies that work with youth, high schools, and organizations who work with populations that are underserved. This selection process helps build a diverse group of young women who may not otherwise have the opportunity to work together. We have found that selecting participants in this way provides a richer experience for everyone involved.
Selecting facilitators is as crucial as selecting the participants. We are searching for facilitators who possess compassion and have a capacity for mindful listening. Having a good sense of humor and flexibility are also necessary assets for a facilitator’s success. Last, we are looking for facilitators that welcome and encourage other voices, a characteristic that is essential for successful outcomes.
As our planning continues, we are grateful for all the support we have received for our project. Stay tuned for the next update where the results of at least one Young Women’s Leadership Program scheduled to take place in June will be shared.
As we prepare for the next series of Young Women’s Leadership programs we found ourselves reflecting on past programs and came across some statements that participants had when asked, “What were some of the most important things you learned from the Young Women’s Leadership Program?” Here’s what some of them had to say.
“I learned women are powerful.” “I learned how to get help through community resources.” “I learned how important it is to use protection.”
It was inspiring to read what the young women walked away with after completing our Young Women’s Leadership Program. It also furthered our commitment to help young women become socially, emotionally, physical and cognitively stronger by providing a comprehensive program that uses dynamic youth development principles.
It would be remiss if I did not mention that while we were reflecting on past programs we found ourselves overwhelmed with gratitude for the growing support we have received to make it possible for us to keep the Young Women’s Leadership Program going and available to young women. Support comes in many ways and we couldn’t be more thankful.
We have received a sizable donation from a longtime supporter that will help make it possible for us to host our Young Women’s Leadership Program next summer in Sacramento, CA! We are so excited to bring this wonderful program to the Sacramento community for the very first time.
Thanks to supporters who have donated and continue to donate to our Young Women’s Leadership Program, we have decided to also host a Young Women’s Leadership Program in Chico, CA next summer as originally planned. We feel confident we can host two programs in the same year because of the recent funds we received, in addition to the funds we will continue to raise.
Recently, a past participant shared the impact our Young Women’s Leadership Program had on her.
“What I learned from the Young Women’s Leadership Program is how important it is to know about your body. They taught us about different types of birth control, shared information about community resources and had interactive presentations that supported what we were learning.
During the program we also got to know each other very well so every day when we would meet up it felt like a bunch of friends getting together. I would have to say after the program was over I would definitely do it again!”
A new addition to our program will be the inclusion of past participants coming back to mentor the new participants. We plan to include them in all phases of the week long program providing them with leadership and networking opportunities.
Please share this wonderful news to increase support for our program that not only builds community, but community leaders!
After careful consideration we have decided to postpone the next Young Women’s Leadership Program due to lack of funding. It wasn’t an easy decision, but one that had to be made in order to make sure we are providing the most comprehensive program for the young women in the community without cutting any corners.
At this time we would like to thank past supporters who have given to our project as well as the most recent supporters who have contributed over $500.00 in the last two months. Although we will not have the YWLP as planned this summer, all the money that we have received thus far will be applied to our next YWLP. We are confident that through continued fundraising efforts we will be ready to go next summer!
Thank you for your continued support!
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