On Friday May 8, YouthRoots students, staff, and stakeholders came together virtually to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of this year’s participants. The event was hosted by Melanie Zhou, 3 year YouthRoots participant and a student representative on the YouthRoots Board of Directors.
We kicked off the event with our keynote speaker, Hamilton actor and philanthropist Bryan Terrell Clark. He shared the story of how and why he founded his organization inDEFINED, and left our participants with advice on how to continue being change-makers and grow their change beyond their own spheres of influence.
We then celebrated the accomplishments of each of our YouthBoards, including our partner boards in Boulder, CO, Summit County, CO, and Sioux Falls, SD. In total, our YouthBoards raised and granted over $60,000 to 18 nonprofits fighting the biggest needs facing children and youth in their communities.
We closed out the community part of the event with a speech from YouthRoots founder, Lacey Books, who spoke about the importance of hope and community, especially in times like these. She emphasized the powerful position youth are in right now to make change in their communities, and closed out her speech by saying: “Warren Buffet recently said in regards to America’s ability to withstand adversity, ‘never bet against America.’ I would take it a step further and say never bet against the youth of America.”
Following Lacey’s speech, we moved into the student breakout session portion of the event, where students from all of our boards were able to get to know each other, talk about their experience in the program, and reflect on how the current situation is impacting issues in their communities.
Thank you to everyone that joined to celebrate with us! If you missed the event, or want to see it again, you can watch the recording of the event below.