PCS students have served as leaders in an impressive array of civic events through Young Voices, a Rhode Island-based youth advocacy organization that “transforms urban youth into powerful advocates who have a voice in every aspect of their lives.”
This month, senior Ivy Barclay emceed the group’s third annual conference, Emerging Brilliance: Celebrating the Emergence of Today’s Leaders, alongside Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who served as host. Earlier this year, she spoke at a Kids Count event before 500 people, describing the impact of Young Voices in helping underperforming schools, where, she said, “our youth have been able to make real changes—in student-centered learning, school climate, and high school graduation rates!”
Fellow student Africa Smith has traveled twice to Washington, DC, to events aimed at preventing teen dating violence. During the first trip she met with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Congressman David Cicilline; the second trip included a panel discussion at the Executive Office followed by an event hosted by Vice President Joe Biden. She said of the experience, “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.”
PCS was well represented at the recent annual conference, with nine upperclassmen greeting guests and discussing the work of Young Voices. Students participating in Young Voices are Tosin Balogun, Ivy Barclay, Kyla Brazenor, Anabel Castillo, Gisselle Delanuez, Bryeshia Jennings, Kehinde Oladosu, Taiwo Oladosu, and Africa Smith.