Our agency took the leap and went to DC, hoping the net of funding would turn out all right in the end. We hope Do Something can help us out with a $500 grant!
Here is a success story from our trip to the DC Symposium:
The success story was the performance of our youth in the Symposium Hill Day meetings with the offices of Rep. McDermott and Sen. Murray. In DC world, maybe making your case to a congressman and senator about issues as real as 50 million dollars in a stimulus being voted on that day for homeless youth employment training money isn’t a big deal. However, it is a big deal, and Jour three youth leaders were right there in the thick of it alongside some of the nation’s top homeless youth leaders and strategists. More so, their testimony about the services they access at Orion, and where they would be without these services, impressed everyone present and made a deeper impact than any number or rank of service providers could. Each young person looked staffers and congressman in the eye as they gave their testimony and made their case for youth employment funding. Each young person was directly complimented by staffers and congressman for their accomplishments and their character. This wasn’t tokenism, it was real youth leadership and involvement at the highest level of policy making. Furthermore, it was a partnership between youth and adults infused with the utmost respect. Youth learned their potential, and the adults in the room learned the potential for partnering with youth power. This experience was a life highlight for me, and no doubt, a life highlight for many involved in these two meetings that day.