By Dwayne Brown, St. Nicks Alliance Deputy Director, Middle Schools & Beacons
North Brooklyn youth have been exercising their leadership skills and talents this past April.
“The kids enjoyed being able to look out and see the stars, and the cable bridge was a great way for the kids to get over their fear.” – Anthony Villalba, Greenpoint Beacon staff member
During spring break St. Nicks Alliance middle school sites embarked on a leadership retreat at the Frost Valley YMCA. For three days and two nights 70 youth enrolled at Unity Prep, MS 577, and Greenpoint and Williamsburg Beacons participated in large and small group games, cooperative activities, problem-solving challenges, building trust activities, archery as well as high- and low-challenge courses, ziplines, and campfires with s’mores. This retreat is designed to strengthen cohesion among the teens while building confidence and encouraging positive behaviors. These youth had an opportunity to come to know themselves and their peers in a new way.
Then on April 21st and April 22nd, St Nicks Alliance held the 2nd Annual Youth Summit at the Greenpoint Beacon and Williamsburg Beacon, respectively. Over 200 youth and community members attended the two-day event aimed at inspiring and empowering middle and high school students with skills to become effective advocates and allies for personal growth and social change. The summit was divided into two days with distinct differences: a Pep rally on Friday and then workshops, awards ceremony and talent show on Saturday. The Saturday youth and adult led workshops were on topics ranging from community leadership, College Exploration HBCU, networking, and mock interviews.
“I really liked that I got to see the youth from other sites that are now my friends. It’s great that we can come together to do these events” -Ainsley Sanchez, student MS 577