Our Fly By Light youth program provides supportive and positive spaces for young people to learn how to peacefully resolve conflict. Fly By Light focuses on education, social justice, and artistic expression as a means for changing communities for the better, and places the onus on youth participants to take leadership roles in doing so. Funds raised for this project will help us create a new program site in Washington D.C. where we will help more students find and shine their light.
The youth of D.C. are combating a pervasive culture of violence. A survey of 1,396 D.C. students showed that 12.5 percent of 12th graders reported having attempted suicide (almost double the national average of 6.3 percent). A lack of self- esteem and joy in life can result in a lack of compassion and care towards others. A 2011 D.C. crime statistic showed that juvenile arrests for violent crimes were nearly six times the national average and youth victims of homicide rose by 23 percent.
Our innovative and dynamic Fly By Light youth program provides vulnerable youth living in Washington, D.C. with alternatives to violence and empowers them with positive outlets through artistic expression. Music and art provide the platform to reach D.C. youth and a framework to build their emotional literacy and social consciousness in the safe spaces of creativity and fun. Our project keeps youth off the streets and engaged in constructive after school workshops with skilled facilitators.
Through diverse programming, Fly By Light breaks the cycle of violence and empowers youth to become leaders, inspires them to create a bold vision for their lives, and supports them in developing a plan for success in school, at home, and in their communities. Fly By Light began with 14 students, and now directly impacts close to 80 young people throughout the District, and thousands across the nation. The funds raised will enable us to launch a new program site and reach more students in need.