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Arab American Youth Participate in Service Semester with LAHC

posted on: May 13, 2016

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On Thursday, May 5, 2016, Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities (LAHC) celebrated a successful semester of service for the winter 2016 participants of the Youth Leadership and Diversity Education Program. Fourteen young leaders completed 400 service hours during the eleven-week course. Youth leaders proved the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to be true, “Everyone can be great …because everyone can serve”. Guest Speakers included Ms. Christina Petrosian, Middle Eastern American Program Manager at the CIA, the presenting sponsor of the this wonderful program.

In small groups, students tackled four social justice issues:

Anti-Bullying – The group developed an interactive anti-bullying presentation for 100 students at the Riverside Middle School and Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn. The group hopes that their presentation will create a ripple effect towards creating a bully-free environment for students in their community. Watch a clip of the group here: https://youtu.be/tOYuYJD8i9I

Poverty- Youth tackled poverty by combating homelessness. “Making people smile makes us smile and feel good. There are too many homeless people in the world, it’s not right how people just ignore them and pretend that they don’t exist. Doing something small makes a world difference and giving someone something small seems big in their eyes,” said Thawani, Ben, Jacqlyn, and Yasmeen. The youth collected and donated 25 pairs of women’s shoes and 20 Bags of food to the Goodwill and COTS in Detroit, MI. Watch a clip of the group here: https://youtu.be/ahBI0s-sZr4

Lack of Desire to Help- The goal of this team was to increase the desire of youth to get involved in their community through service all while making sure to influence others to join in the process. They wrote letters to soldiers, participated in a Flint water drive and packaged food for the homeless with the Salvation Army. Watch a clip here: https://youtu.be/GWx34sECIpY

Diversity Awareness- This team focused on the lack of diversity in the media. The team surveyed 75 people in the community and found that the majority of people see stereotypical portrayals of people of color in the media. The survey helped them determine that society would benefit if the TV world was as diverse as the real world.

The Youth Leadership and Diversity Program- YLDEP is an innovative solution to equip high school juniors and seniors with invaluable 21st century skills that will allow them to change themselves and the world through service. Using an evidence based curriculum, the YLDEP extend learning opportunities to the youth by providing various seminars and activities that are focused on leadership & life skills, diversity education, job readiness, college access education, educational and career goal setting, strategic planning as well as empowering them to make a difference in their communities.