National Urban League Youth Summit 2015: Raise the Bar
This summer, four TAF Academy students represented the Seattle Metropolitan Urban League at the National Urban League’s annual Youth Summit at Nova Southwestern University in south Florida. Occurring in tandem with the NUL’s national conference in Fort Lauderdale, the youth summit gathered middle and high school students from across the country to build leadership, educational and economic empowerment in communities of color. TAF Academy rising juniors Mahlet and Gurleen, and rising seniors Rose and Aaron, joined in the summit’s whirlwind of activities: leadership development and STEM workshops, a visit to the Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, an interactive jazz performance, a youth Town Hall on the topic of police violence and justice, and a college fair at the main conference center.
“One of the highlights for me was the workshops we got to do on the fourth day [of the 5-day summit],” says Mahlet. “I learned coding and hacking. Another highlight was [hearing] one of the speakers talking about body language and what it can tell others.” Mahlet and her peers also enjoyed a quick trip to the beach, as well as one last, memorable experience for Washingtonian teens visiting Florida: breakfast at Waffle House! Aaron, who plans to study aerospace engineering, was elated to be assigned to a Boeing/Intel workshop about airplane design and supply chain management in the industry.
Our students’ participation in the Youth Summit came in thanks to TAF’s new partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. This collaboration will bring the NUL’s signature college readiness program, Project Ready, to TAF Academy 11th and 12th graders in Fall 2015. Throughout the school year, TAF’s Project Ready participants will engage in college planning, campus visits, self-reflection projects, college application essay writing, college culture immersion, and community service planning. As TAF students progress through this curriculum, we will be checking in regularly to share their insights and achievements on their path to college success.
Check out some photos from the trip below.