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Qasima Wideman– “My experience at the Youth Organizing Institute last summer was not only incredibly heartening, empowering, and exciting, but also a gateway to a community of like-minded, politically passionate young people that has become family over the course of the year. YOI provides a curriculum that is engaging for youth at all stages of political consciousness- pop-ed style political education workshops from which valuable knowledge about understanding and dismantling complex and myriad systems of oppression can be gleaned regardless of how much background one comes in with, and exercises that challenge youth to collaborate and learn from one another’s experiences. We were able to interact with adults and elders with rich histories in the local organizing community, to establish mentoring relationships, and to hear first-hand about the experiences of organizers with SNCC, and an assortment of other major organizations. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the YOI program, and I hope that that opportunity can be made available to as many other local youth as possible. YOI has taught the potential for truly meaningful and caring community and powerful change-making that blossoms from fostering interaction between youth with similar interest in making their communities safer, more inclusive, and more ethical for all people.”

Beatrice Galdamez “My experience with the YOI was really awesome. I loved all the things we learned and activities. The people I met were even better. I don’t think you could have a bad time if you get to know everybody .”

Molly McDonough– “I went to my first YOI training in the winter of 2012. I learned a lot of things at the training, from strategies for organizing to some of what is happening politically in North Carolina. I received media training and got to work on an audio documentary. More than that, though, I got to meet awesome folks. I had just started my first semester of college, and was having trouble meeting like-minded people. Not only did I meet lots of powerful youth and adults at the training, I was able to get involved with NC HEAT and the NC Student Power Union because of the people I met at that training. Some of the best, most empowering experiences of my life have come about because of  YOI.”