Youth in Community
“Of all the qualities that I believe are necessary for the sustaining of our free society, the most necessary are optimism and persistence. They must be accompanied, of course, by competence and compassion. The application of those qualities can overcome the cynicism and apathy that have been the downfall of so many societies.”
– Governor William F. Winter
The greatest asset a community has is the young people it produces. The willingness and ability of that community to embrace its opportunity to equip, educate, and harness the creativity of its young will determine its future.
One of the best learning laboratories for young people in creating positive social change and breaking down barriers to progress is the communities that they call home and care most deeply about. The Winter Institute strives to create some of the most impactful learning and growth experiences we offer in home communities. Our approach to doing this work is to support what is present and to encourage vision for what is not.
Welcome Table Community Support
The Winter Institute Youth Team is engaging Mississippi youth statewide through supporting Welcome Table communities with incorporating the young people in those communities in the groundbreaking work that Welcome Table participants are leading.
We recognize that, in order for the work of the courageous Welcome Table groups to build critical mass and achieve sustainability, they must have dedicated young leaders preparing to maintain the momentum into the future. The Winter Institute’s Youth Team will spend time with youth in Welcome Table communities conducting trust-building exercises, leadership development training, and facilitating other capacity-building trainings.
Winter Institute staff is working with high schools and partner organizations to provide community building workshops and experiences to their students and youth in an effort to equip them with the tools we believe will help build respectful environments more conducive to learning and teaching.
We lead discussions and exercises that focus on the concepts of diversity, privilege, and bias in the student’s community, as well as in the larger culture and their own personal experiences. We reinforce students’ knowledge and grow their appreciation for engaging in open and honest communication. One of our core beliefs is that open and honest communication is essential to developing the strong relationships and bonds necessary for community building.
News & Updates
The Neshoba Youth Coalition (NYC) of Philadelphia, MS recently won the Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner Youth Community Relations Award!
NYC was begun by two 2010 Summer Youth Institute (SYI) students, Shamiski Collier and Cache Boler, as their final community project for SYI. The group now has over forty members – students grade 8-12 from Philadelphia’s schools. Winter Institute director of community relations Leroy Clemons has worked closely with the group since its beginning. Below is a brief video overview of NYC.
Congratulations to all the students and community members involved in NYC!
- Neshoba Youth Coalition Profile