Speaking at the Kidscount Breakfast in front of 500 people

By Ivy Barclay, age 16


Last week, I was able to reach one of my dreams. On February 28th, I was setting goals for my next step in my growth as a leader at Young Voices. I said to Karen, our Executive Director: "I want to have an experience speaking at the Kids Count Breakfast." She told me she didn't know if that would be possible, that it's a very rare opportunity and then a week later, she called me to tell me she heard from Kids Count, and they were looking for a speaker! I was so excited because speaking in front of more than 500 people was a dream for me. Thank you, Elizabeth Burke Bryant, for this great learning opportunity.


I was so proud to represent our 180 Young Voices members from across the State, Providence, Central Falls, and Pawtucket. I talked about the national model we created, where we make sure students at the turnaround schools have a real voice in the redesign of their schools. Working as partners with school leaders at five of RI's lowest-performing high schools, our youth have been able to make real changes----in student-centered learning, school climate, and high school graduation rates!


I am determined to be successful and make a big difference by starting a non-profit for women's leadership one day. But I also want all my peers to have their dreams too. That's why we work so hard to find real solutions to improving education.  

Meeting Vice President Joe Biden

By Africa Smith, age 16


I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Washington, DC for a Teen Dating Violence event hosted by the White House Office of Vice President Biden. I arrived in DC and attended  an interactive panel discussion at the Executive Office before heading to the White House. I was honored to hear Vice President Biden's speech about the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women's Act. 


This was my second trip to DC, thanks to a partnership of Young Voices and Sojourner House called Start Strong RI.   The purpose of this partnership is to make sure all youth have healthy, safe relationships. On the last trip, I met with Senator Whitehouse, Senator Reed and Congressman Cicilline, to talk about the need to prevent teen dating violence.   As a youth leader I feel empowered after my unforgettable trips to DC. Having the chance to be heard by such a large audience of powerful people, shows me that I really can make a major difference in our society.

Because of your support, youth like Ivy and Africa are able to have life-changing opportunities.


We now have an amazing opportunity: the Trimix Foundation has offered Young Voices a $30,000 Challenge Grant, matching every donation, dollar for dollar, until July. You have the ability to help more students like Ivy and Africa to live out their dreams, and become powerful leaders, who in their lifetime, make major contributions to our society.