Proud. Inspired. Motivated. Moved.
RAWK is honored to have been asked by The International Congress of Youth Voices to send two delegates to this year's inaugural event in August. Co-founded by Dave Eggers and Amanda Uhle, The International Congress of Youth Voices will bring together 100 students from around the world — United States, Iraq, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Syria, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, Burundi, Honduras, Cuba, Denmark, Venezuela, Zambia, and Nepal so far! As their website states, "The Congress was founded as a means to amplify their ideas and energy and to unite young people for a weekend of collaboration ... The event is designed to provide a path to leadership for all delegates and represents a continuum from students who have exhibited potential in local writing and tutoring programs to writers and activists who have already made notable achievements at a very young age."
Familiar with the work we do here in Kalamazoo with youth writing, we were asked to choose two delegates based on their commitment to leadership and social justice, as well as their passion and eloquence as writers. Both Destiné and Sydney have done just that over the years.
As a leader within RAWK, Destiné brings her heart to the table to help make real change in our community. She uses her words to connect with youth in beautiful ways, and to help grow our organization's commitment to equity and access by building a strong volunteer corps and influencing program and organizational development. She is driven, filled with empathy and compassion, ready to ask questions and find answers.
A poignant writer with a keen eye, Sydney has grown into a leader at RAWK, now serving on our Youth Advisory Council and is a Youth Mentor. Her charge for a more equitable world is clear both through her writing and in conversation. She is a dreamer and a doer, someone who is ready to roll up her sleeves and make change a reality.
We will be sure to keep you posted on this remarkable event as it unfolds. Until then, please join us in congratulating these two fantastic young women. This is huge, and we are thrilled to celebrate their contributions to our community and the adventure that lies ahead.