The AwesomeWall 2013

Our 2013 Summer Youth Institute Participants

Alexis Palmer, Australia Say, Breanna Crite, Brevin Luckett, Brianna Gordon-Brantley, Caitlyn Marshall, Catherine Buffington, Christain Lee, Gabby Lewis, Juilette Richert, Kayla Thigpen, Kennedy Ferris, Kyle Smith, Omar Peters, Patricia Rodgers, Robert Wilson, Rodarius Turner, Ryan Greenlee, Sabrina Nawls, Shaniya Finley, Tanzim Hassan, Tavarea Nash, Terrace Brown, Tia Toines, Triuna Taylor, Tyson Eddie


TERRACE BROWN, an Oxford, MS, resident, is a junior at Oxford High School. Terrace's project, Reading Excellence And Learning (REAL), intends to improve reading comprehension for elementary students by having Oxford high school students act as mentors and tutors. AUSTRALIA SAY, a resident of Jackson, MS, is a junior at Piney Woods High School. Australia has already made great strides with her project, a community garden. She has secured a place for her community garden and is currently in the process of preparing the land for planting. Australia sees her community garden as a place where her community can come together for interracial, intergenerational, and intercultural community building. Update: On August 17, 2013 Australia officially opened her community garden with great success and support! Update II: As of August 2014, Australia's garden has continued to grow and her community is expected to add another garden - this time for vegetables and fruits for the whole community. CAT BUFFINGTON, a resident of Starkville, MS, is a junior at Starkville High School. Through conversation, interaction, and community service, Cat's UNITY Project, hopes to help create a safe space for teenagers to breakdown barriers through community service. Update: On August 25, 2014, UNITY held its back-to-school kick off event. Over 60 students from Starkville's four public, private, and county schools came out to learn more about UNITY, fellowship over great food from Little Dooey's, and pledge 15 hours of community service each! TANZIM HASSAN, a resident of Starkville, MS, is a Sophomore at Starkville High School. Tanzim hopes to create a research project that collects data and provides insight into diabetes or cancer that will lead to a better healthier community. TRIUNA TAYLOR, a resident of Itta Bena, MS, is a sophomore at Greenwood High School. Triuna's project, Elder Care Service Project, is a volunteer service program for high school students to spend time and energy engaging with their community elders living in local nursing and elder care facilities. RYAN GREENLEE, a resident of Kilmichael, MS, is a Sophomore at Montgomery County High School. PATRICIA ROGERS, a resident of Oxford, MS, is a sophomore at Oxford High School. Patricia's project, Better Tomorrow Starts Today, hopes to bring the youth of her community in Oxford, MS together across racial, ethnic, and economic lines. RODARIOUS TURNER, a resident of Indianola, MS, is a sophomore at Merritt High School. LIFE, Rodarious's project, will use hip-hop to increase reading comprehension for 3rd-6th grade children within his community. CAITLYN MARSHALL, a resident of Nesbit, MS, is a junior at Horn Lake High School. An interesting fact about Caitlyn is that she enjoys very short walks on the beach. KENNEDY FERRIS, a resident of Choctaw, MS, is a junior at Neshoba County High School. By using the resources of local alcohol and drug treatment programs, Kennedy hopes to educate young people through peer to peer contact on the harmfulness of drug and alcohol abuse experimentation. BREANNA CRITE is a sophomore at Horn Lake High School in Horn Lake, MS. Her project, Better Tomorrow Starts Today, hopes to bring together the youth of her community across racial, ethnic, and economic lines. BREVIN LUCKETT, a resident of Jackson, MS, is a junior at Jim Hill High School. Brevin's program, The Suave Project, aims to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates among young men in his community through mentorship and leadership training. TIA TOINES, a resident of Brandon, MS, is a sophomore at Northwest Rankin High School. Tia hopes to create opportunities for Metro Jackson community members to meet and interact to break down racial barriers with her group, The Table of Brotherhood. OMARR PETERS, a resident of McComb, MS, is a junior at McComb High School. The motto for Omarr's project, Pike County Youth In Action (PCYIA), is “Dilemmas Today-Liberation Tomorrow.” PCYIA will coordinate, communicate, enhance and educate young people in Pike County, Mississippi about teen pregnancy, STIs, and high school dropout. TYSON EDDIE, a resident of Okolona, MS, is a junior at Okolona High School. No Texting While Driving, Tyson's program, hope to deter teen texting and driving by employing a video game like simulator to allow teens to experience the hazards of their texting and driving. ALEXIS PALMER, a resident of Madison, MS, is a sophomore at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Along with her fellow 2013 SYI cohort member Brianna Brantley, Alexis created Teen V^3 – Leading Virtuous, Visionary, and Vivacious Teens. Alexis and Brianna hope to create opportunities and safe spaces for teens from different educational environments to connect and build community. SABRINA NAWLS, a resident of Cleveland, MS, is a junior at Broad Street High School. Sabrina's project, Learning Adventure for Kids, is an after-school tutoring program for elementary school children in her community. KYLE SMITH, a resident of Becker, MS, is a junior at Hatley High School. Kyle's project, the Youth Recreation Committee (YRC), aims to provide a safe space for children and teens in his community. Through the YRC, Kyle hopes to teach his community's young people life skills and provide recreational opportunities. KAYLA THIGPEN, a resident of Jackson, MS, is sophomore at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Through Building Relationships Through Performing Arts Exposure and Education (BRPA), Kayla hopes to just the title of her project states. She believes strongly in the importance of arts education. TAVAREA NASH, a resident of Shelby, MS, is a sophomore at Broad Street High School. Tavarea's Youth Leadership Committee hopes to foster youth leadership development through peer discussion groups where they will talk about community issues. JULIETTE RICHERT, a resident of Ridgeland, MS, is a sophomore at Ridgeland High School. Student Teachers Evolving Partnership (STEP) is a teacher evaluation program that Juliette created with hopes to connect and reinforce student/teacher communication. CHRISTIAN LEE, a resident of Moselle, MS, is a sophomore at South Jones High School. Christian's project, Anti-Bullying Through Conversation (ABTC), addresses bullying in schools. She hopes to campaign and have conversations about what bullying is, where it starts, and why it happens. GABRIELLE LEWIS, a resident of Jackson, MS, is a sophomore at Murrah High School. Putting a stop to bullying is a priority for Gabrielle. Her project, The Bullying Campaign, raises awareness, educates students, and creates spaces for teens to be heard regarding bullying. SHANIYA FINLEY, a resident of Philadelphia, MS, is a junior at Philadelphia High School. The Youth Political Awareness Campaign, Shaniya's program, hopes to rally youth in Philadelphia for political action through voter and political education, engagement with local elected officials and boards, and hosting voter registration drives. ROBERT WILSON, a resident of Greenwood, MS, is a junior at Greenwood High School. Robert is making great strides with his project, the Greenwood Youth Institute (GYI). GYI focuses on community development through youth education using the Summer Youth Institute's model of peer to peer conversation, community service, and respect building exercises. Update: On October 26,2013 GYI will have its first meeting! Update II: Robert spent the last year revisioning and refining his project, which is now Leadership Greenwood - a program focused on building future leaders in the Greenwood-Leflore County area. The program is for students ages 12-16.
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