High School Students Offered Support and Inspiration Through the “Best Version of Me” Assemblies

Alicia Joynes, Program Director of Youth Partnerships

This week at Patterson High School, 121 students participated in assemblies—one for young women, one for young men—designed to help empower under-represented youth, including youth who are underperforming and are at risk or have been involved with the juvenile justice system. This was the second in a series of assemblies specifically to empower students at Patterson and inspire them to look toward the future. And it will certainly not be the last.

Both Queendom (for the young women) and My Life Matters (for the young men) featured motivational speakers who really connected with the students. A big thank you to Professor Kimberly Collins for meeting with the girls, and to Mr. Evan Pittman for meeting with the boys. They both equipped students with gems of wisdom geared towards preparing these scholars to be the “Best Version of Themselves (Me)” possible.

I am passionate about this work and gratified to see the students respond so positively to the information and resources made available to them. Queendom and My Life Matters are geared towards providing continuous academic, professional, and social support, which truly changes the trajectory of student lives. The long-term goal of both initiatives is to provide intensive programming and sustainable resources during high school which include an annual conference, weekly academic support, quarterly general school assemblies, comprehensive mentoring, and access to resources that will lead to healthy lifestyles, college preparation or job and/or trade entry.

These youth engagements (My Life Matters and Queendom) are components of Family League’s youth-focused portfolio in Baltimore. We’re striving to address the challenges of youth experiencing disproportionate minority contact (with the justice system, police, and other authorities) especially at high school age (15-18). It’s all part of our work to reduce racial disparities among youth of color and provide them with the necessary resources to successfully prepare for college and career.