While a board member at RAP, I've watched young leaders from low-income neighborhoods of New York City help each other discover and nourish their intrinsic worth, excellence, generosity and creativity, even as they face the traumatic effects of poverty, racism and violence. RAP's work delivers them the training and ongoing support to advocate for their own and each other's well-being. Help them solve the problems they face, creating a more equitable future on their own terms!
Children and youth born into poverty are no less worthy of healthy food, secure housing, nurturing health care and culturally relevant education than those raised in wealth. But powerful voices in Washington are pushing policies with devastating results on this generation of youth and children. You can upend this power dynamic by helping youth advocate for their and their peers' rights in the courts, agencies, institutions and systems that constrain their choices.
This campaign will allow RAP to continue providing legal and policy training along with trauma-informed group support to those youth that need our work most. Many of our young participants cannot afford to pay to travel to our sites or take time away from working to engage in our programming without a stipend - you can provide that. Many of RAP's program partners cannot afford to pay for us to bring YouthLEAP to their communities - you can bring us there.
RAP youth leaders and the peers they train make government and community systems more responsive to the needs of New York City's most vulnerable youth. Our intentional focus on recruiting low-income youth of color elevates the voices of those most historically shut out of system-change initiatives. RAP's youth demonstrate the power of low-income youth of color to be active, engaged community members and catalysts for positive change in their own lives and in their communities.