United Way of Southeast Alaska partnered with Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, Zach Gordon Youth Center, Lead on! For Peace and Equality, University of Alaska Southeast, and AWARE, Inc. to put on the second annual Be the Change youth conference on March 13th. Together, we collaborated to provide a space for local teens to learn about healthy relationships, reinforce positive self-image and gain the skills and confidence to be agents of positive social change in their home community.
Despite the severe winter weather, we had over 200 students in attendance, as well as dozens of volunteers and teachers. There were students from Juneau Douglas High School, Thunder Mountain High School, Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School, and homeschooled students.
The workshops ranged from helping students better understand disabilities, to developing healthy relationships, and even inspirational break dancing. Speakers included the vastly talented Gene Tagaban with his amazing storytelling abilities, as well as student performers such as Fysh, who is a 17 year old spoken word and musical artist.
Our mission at United Way is to provide the foundation for improving lives and communities in Southeast Alaska. We are also a collaborative organization, always seeking partnership with other community organizations so as to maximize the impact programs can have on the people we serve. Be the Change aimed to inspire and educate our local youth to seek out cooperation with their peers and to better understand how the things that make us diverse serve to interconnect us more. We are honored to be a part of Be the Change, as it provides students with the skills and support to not only succeed in their own lives, but also improve their community.