From August 8th – 12th, 13 youth from throughout Westchester County came together to participate in My Sisters’ Place’s annual Summer Institute. This 5-day leadership retreat, hosted by MSP’s Domestic Violence Education and Prevention (DVEP) program, gave youth the opportunity to learn more about teen dating violence, social justice (racism, classism, sexism, and LGBTQ issues), media, activism and how to make a difference in their community. Through guided interactive activities participants learned, analyzed, discussed, and had fun!
This year’s retreat proved to be the most diverse Summer Institute that MSP has held yet. The participants came from different schools, different backgrounds, and offered a wide range of life experience and perspectives. One participant commented, “Everyone was kind, nurturing and understanding, but also strong-willed about their opinions. I felt like I could be open and I also learned about other people’s perspectives, which was extremely advantageous because we had such a diverse group of people.”
Lisa Scott, MSP’s Director of Community Education & Prevention, expressed how impressed she was that this year’s participants were able to share and discuss the issues presented so deeply. This speaks to the passion, empathy, and intelligence present among the participants in the program as well as the safe environment created by the DVEP staff.
Through a post-event survey, 100% of participants agreed that, thanks to Summer Institute, they are able to identify warning signs of abuse and that they feel more confident that they could have a healthy relationship.
We are so grateful to all of the participants and MSP staff who participated and made this such a successful experience.