7th Generation Labs launched a collaboration between elders and youngers in the Wimberley Valley in Texas, USA. Research shows that youth who receive support from adults beyond their family have a stronger foundation moving into adulthood.
“7th Generation gave me opportunities and hope that I couldn't imagine possible in high school. Incredible mentors guided me and many others through creating projects, problem solving, reaching out to our community, and teamwork. Every meeting I would come in motivated to share my ideas and see how they could be improved and applied to the real world. I was always respected and encouraged and this created a unique community of loving and understanding while we worked toward the common goal of helping our commonwealth. it was one of my most beloved and impactful high school experiences.”
After the murder of George Floyd, Jasmine Belleau and Isabella Perez organized a protest rally in Wimberley, Texas which drew over 200 peaceful attendees (including the mayor and county judge) in an overwhelmingly white town of 3,000 people.
Here is a local radio station interview with these courageous young women along with adults who supported them in this audio.
"My daughter participated in the Youth Voice Initiative and that opportunity turned out to be a gift. For one of the few times during high school, her organizational and leadership abilities were both recognized and nurtured. I am beyond grateful that she was given this chance, and received support and guidance. To say that this Initiative was life changing would be accurate.
Thank you for making a difference in the life of my daughter, as well as for the others who participated."
Mindy Webber, Parent
"As a weekly community radio host, I believe young people need to be heard. Brilliant ideas and often overlooked needs are invisible without a forum for discussion. Youth voice adds useful dimensions for community planning and thriving. What a gift to listen and learn in each encounter."