Author: Leyen Trang
When Mai Soua (pictured left)first stepped into her role as one of the 2016 Youth Fellows, she didn’t think politics was a big deal. As the summer progressed, she learned more and more about the local political scene and its impact on her community.
“It was really an eye-opener,” she said. Referring the community members, she also added: “I feel that they realize there are people who care about them and their issues [when we reach out.]”
Like Mai Soua, Peter (pictured right) hadn’t known much about civic engagement either. Being a Youth Fellow had opened his eyes to multiple perspectives and even helped him put words to experiences he had seen and heard about.
“Staying at home – I’m only exposed to my family and the media and their viewpoints, so to be part of this program and learn, that’s made a big impact on me,” he said.
Overall, Maly (pictured left), another 2016 Youth Fellow, felt like small changes were made in big ways.
“Even just talking to one person over the phone can make a difference,” she said, remembering a conversation urging a community member to go and vote.
Mai Soua, Peter, and Maly will be returning as Youth Leaders to kick off the Summer 2017 Youth Fellows cohort. What are they looking forward to?
Changes in the political landscape and how it will shape their future work, learning more about the changes and how they can disseminate the knowledge to community members, and to building long-lasting relationships with other community organizations around the Twin Cities.