Chester County Youth Advocate for Change at Advocacy in Action Summit

Advocacy in Action SummitSubmitted Image, Photo by Christian Lamar Photography

DOWNINGTOWN, PA — In a remarkable display of civic engagement, 35 middle and high school students from across Chester County rallied their voices at the Advocacy in Action Summit on Saturday, February 3. The event, held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit building in Downingtown, was organized by The Fund for Women and Girls.

The summit convened representatives from five local nonprofit organizations, including Coatesville Youth Initiative, Girls Spark, and Parkesburg Point. The youth participants were given a unique platform to present their concerns and insights to Mariah Hathaway and Ruby Mundok, the executive directors of the Governor’s Advisory Commissions on Women and Next Generation Engagement.

Under the umbrella of The Fund’s GAB and CivicG+ programs, these young advocates tackled a range of pressing issues. Drawing from personal experiences and data from The Fund’s Fourth Edition Blueprint Report, they discussed education, economic security, childcare, the gender wage gap, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigration with state-level officials.

Two students from Mighty Writers El Futuro in Kennett Square, who chose to remain anonymous, contributed powerful written statements. One shared candidly, “I feel overwhelmed when thinking about the future, unsure of where I fit in or where I’m headed… At times it’s difficult to be accepted because there are still people out there who have assumptions about people just because of their race.”

More than presenting their perspectives, the summit also offered these young advocates an understanding of the purpose and scope of the commissions and how they can actively participate in creating positive change.

Kim Andrews, Executive Director of The Fund for Women and Girls, lauded the efforts of the youth. “The Advocacy in Action Summit is a testament to the power of youth voices,” she said. “We are incredibly proud to provide a platform for these passionate young advocates to directly engage with decision-makers and share their perspectives on the issues that matter most to them. It’s inspiring to witness the dedication and commitment these youth bring to effecting positive change in their communities.”

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The Advocacy in Action Summit spotlights the potential of our youth as agents of change, and their readiness to shape a more inclusive, equitable future for all.

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