IAWW Youth Leadership Program (YLP)
“To inspire the youth to carve a path that awakens a sense of civic responsibility, empathy and hone leadership skills through training, workshops, mentoring, projects and programs that bridge the gap between main stream and Indian community”- Annu Luthra, IAWW Youth Leadership Program Director
Since its inception, the IAWW Youth Leadership Program has evolved into a program that year-round provides various opportunities to its youth for leadership, mentoring and to engage in civic, environmental and charitable services. The program creates a fun and safe space for the youth to connect.
The Youth Board (YB) is a platform where thirty-two youth (9th-11th graders) come together to create a team of leaders who train over the year via various service projects (from planning to execution), community cafes, training and workshops to evolve into YLP mentors who then plan a 5 day-4 night camp (Camp Bharat) for 220+ children in the Indian community of Greater Seattle. The YB program offers ongoing leadership opportunities to all its members .
The Youth Leadership Program also offers the Youth Council (YC) -where a group of thirteen to seventeen -year-old (8th- 11th graders) come together to explore leadership, mentoring and service opportunities. They also have leadership responsibilities at camp. While members of the Youth Board are selected through a stringent selection process begins late August, our Youth Council program registration takes place in October and is first-come; first-serve.
Youth Outreach (YO) is our newest addition to the Youth Leadership Program starting in 2019-2020 program year. It is focused on teaching middle school aged students’ (6th & 7th graders) self-leadership, integrity and survival skills so that they can be a positive influence on their peers and be successful in school and community. Middle school years can be tough, and our goal is to create a safe and trusting space for this age group where they can seek help from youth mentors and be responsible citizens. They will have opportunity to gain volunteer hours through community service projects as well as have a safe and trusted space to ask and get answers to navigating middle school issues. We will work with this group by mentoring them in various skills such as communication, community service, civic responsibility and provide an overall leadership program catered towards middle school children. Registration is first-come; first-serve due to limited spots and will open in mid-late October.
Youth Leadership Program Mental Health annual Summit in June- The program goal is to help raise awareness about mental health, reduce the stigma associated with mental disorders and normalize mental wellness in the Indian community.
Camp Bharat is a five-day, four-night unique camp that is planned and executed by the Youth Board in August each year with direction and advice offered by their Youth Board Advisors and the Youth Leadership Program Director. Camp Bharat is for children of Indian heritage or those interested in the culture. It provides the space for the youth to come together, play and connect with each other, share experiences and develop lasting friendships. A day in the life of a camper includes basic morning Yoga, games (dodge ball, kabbadi, kho, handball, pittoo), afternoon workshops on arts, crafts, games, board games, cooking, Engineering, Rube etc. Evenings are with story time, camp fires, Garba, dance workshops, Carnival and walk to the beach. The Indian festival of colors ‘Holi’ is celebrated in the open space and is always a popular event. As the children leave camp on the fifth day, they discover the depth of their connection and bonds to each other having created the ‘Family Camp Bharat’.