Youth leadership is important to the movement in ending violence because young people typically influence one another as much or more than the adults in their lives do. Youth leaders in Alaska are working together to influence positive change and promote a peer culture of respect and equality. There are several opportunities in Sitka for youth to engage in community projects to end violence.
THE SITKA YOUTH LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE
The Sitka Youth Leadership Committee (SYLC) is a group of youth leaders who are dedicated to building bridges and promoting respect across cliques, schools, and communities.
Through peer education, developing media campaigns, administering surveys, and coordinating workshops on identity, diversity, and positive leadership, these young leaders are serving as true positive influencers for their peers and contributing to a new cultural norm where respect and non-violence are, indeed, cool.
Mikaela Hunter, a past member of SYLC, speaks about the importance of embracing your own unique strengths and identity at the Choose Respect March. (Photo by Anne Brice, SAFV)
LEAD ON! FOR PEACE & EQUALITY
LeadOn! For Peace and Equality is a statewide youth leadership conference where youth and adults from around Alaska gather together to develop leadership skills for promoting peace and equality.
Participants attend workshops and acquire tools for developing projects that promote nonviolence and respect in their home communities.
LeadOn! Summit in Anchorage. (Photo provided by LeadOn! team.)
You can also visit the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee's website for current information about participating in Lead On! with other youth who live in Sitka.
REBOUND is an experiential prevention project allowing youth from Southeast Alaska to explore Glacier Bay National Park or other wilderness areas on a week-long kayak expedition.
Participants learn outdoor survival skills like setting up a camp stove, cooking in the back country, setting up tents, navigation, bear safety, clean camp and respecting the environment.
REBOUND participants kayak in Glacier Bay. (Photo by Elena Gustafson, SAFV)
Participants also learn the value of connecting across cultures, team building, leadership, communication skills, goal setting, examining individual and societal patterns, and pushing past their own physical, emotional, and mental limitations. This program uses the outdoor setting to engage youth in conversations on respect for the environment, self, and others.