Martha's Vineyard seniors Isabella El-Deiry and Jacob Lawrence traveled to Boston to discover how our Massachusetts leaders support young people. The trip was part of the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative (MVYLI).
First Bella and Jacob thanked them for their letters of support for the delegates to the 3rd MVYLI Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development and the citations for the Walter Cronkite Award recipients. At the 3rd Annual Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony, Bella gave a speech about MVYLI's support for the South Sudan Girls Empowerment Club. George Clooney and his father Nick, who was our keynote speaker, are active supporters of the South Sudan.
Bella and Jacob met with the Senator's Education Policy Advisor, Nicole Caravalla. Jacob aspires to become a global economist. Last year for MVYLI's annual Job Shadow Day he traveled to Boston with Brian Billsback to learn about the corporate world at PricewaterCoopers Inc. This year Jacob will learn about the policy aspects of global finance from Senator Kerry's key staff. Senator Kerry is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs. Given Bella's goal of pursuing international relations, she was matched last year with Rose Styron, the U.S. Chairman of Amnesty International. This year she will learn about how policy and legislation affects and benefits those in developing countries.
At the Governor's Offices, Anny Jean-Jacques Domercant, Director of Community Affairs shared plans for the Governor's Statewide Youth Council. For the last two years MVYLI youth Emma HalBilsback has been an active Council member. A Black-Out Bullying Rally is being held on October 18. The event is designed just before the release of the movie of Bully which follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole.
They also shared their community service projects. Bella is the President of Young Sisters Mentoring Group. Jacob is active in the Young Brothers to Men Program. They have helped organize a Thanksgiving food drive and a winter coat drive. Jacob is a star athlete including the Eastern Athletic Conference champion soccer team.
"This was another successful trip with the MVYLI!" said Jacob who also traveled with MVYLI's College Prep and Field Trip Program. "I would like to thank Ms. Domercant and Ms. Carvalla for their time. This experience gave me an opportunity to practice speaking in a meeting. I also made two new friends that hopefully I can network in the future."
Bella shared how she is championing MVYLI's Sustainability-In-Action project team which was developed during this summer's Youth Leadership Summit. Last May she represented MVYLI at the Minorities in the Schools Forum where she was inspired to create a Multicultural Assembly at MVRHS high school for all Vineyard youth. The esteemed Charlayne Hunter-Gault is the keynote speaker which will be held in November.
"Wow, what an amazing day!" said Bella. "I had an opportunity to meet with great people who could help me in the future. I also learned how to speak and have confidence during a meeting. It was a priceless experience! Thank you!"