Youth Igniting Change


During the week of June 15th, the Office on Children and Youth's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program held their first youth camp, Youth Igniting Change: Breaking Gender Stereotypes. Eighteen teenagers from Harrisonburg, Rockingham, and Shenandoah County discussed how gender and gender stereotypes shape and affect their lives. The camp created a safe space where youth could explore their identities and think critically about mainstream narratives of gender that limit them or influence their behavior, sense of self, and relationships. Teen Pregnancy Prevention staff facilitated dialogue and activities on healthy masculinity, assessing media and advertisements, feminism, community organizing, and more. Participants worked with community-based artists Jeremiah Jenkins, Cole Wright, and Jessica Caldas to creatively explore their own gender stories through poetry, animation, and screen printing. On the final day of camp, participants displayed their art and told their gender stories to parents, family, and friends. The camp exceeded expectations in its first year due in part to amazing, thoughtful, and creative youth participants. We look forward to next summer’s camp, which will feature a new theme.

Published: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Last Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017

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