Summer 2019

Saving My Voice

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

When I was asked–allowed–to untie my tongue in What’s the Story?, I began to understand that I was my own creator. I began to peel back my understandings of education and consider deeply what learning was. I worked for two years on multi-media campaigns exploring the experience of gender non-conforming students in Vermont middle in high schools. With that came an endless stream of events that have since changed my life.



Capable of Standing Up: Feeling Empowered to Create Change

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

During the car ride home, we Vermonters reflected on the immense strength and possibility of NextGen. The Hazhó’ó Hólne’ Writing Conference would shape our social action work in Vermont as well as our personal roles in our communities for the rest of our lives.



NextGen: A Home for Change

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

For the past few years my younger sister and I have been displaced, moving from house to house, never getting too comfortable or being too sure that we’d sleep in the same bed for more than a week. After being displaced again this past Christmas and feeling entirely alone with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just mentally needed a place to go, a place where my situation didn’t exist, a place where I could be a kid—something I didn’t have the luxury of doing in my everyday life. I found that in NextGen.



A Journey between Four Sacred Mountains

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

As a group we all proposed ideas to stay in touch and ensure that NextGen survives. We owe that much to the youth that will come after us.



Power in Vulnerability

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

Thanks to the conference, I realized it’s ok for me to be vulnerable with myself, and that the voice of the youth matters. Interacting with the individuals from NextGen really opened my eyes to how big of an impact the youth has on their communities, from bringing families together to write, to showing the importance of monumental institutions like Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, to strengthening the voice of the youth from the LGBTQ community. People really overlook how important it is for the voice of the youth to be heard.



Local Challenges and a Better World

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

I was finally able to see what and how I could help my community. I have been able to help kids with schoolwork and show them why school is important. I have helped to lead family literacy nights with my group to show people that even though we might not all look alike we can have the same goal.



So Much to Fight For, So Much to Change

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

Today, being not only a global citizen, but also a student, I realize that I have a moral responsibility towards the environment and communities. It is the youth of today that are going to bear the consequences of the actions of today. It is our duty to ensure that our actions only do well to the environment and communities and do not cause any more harm than what is already done. As the young generation, our voice matters. Our words are starting to matter.



Writing with Power: Finding Voice in NextGen

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

I’m also learning to use my voice to network and spread awareness about issues plaguing our communities. NextGen took me from a person who wanted to help to an activist who is creating positive change.



The Power of Surrounding Yourself with People Who Care

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

…BTLN NextGen challenged me to not become a better me but to bring out the best of me and to use that and pour it back into my community and the world.



Reaching New Distances: A Navajo Perspective on NextGen

Jun 21st, 2019 | By

Throughout the whole year, I attended at least two more conferences out of state in Vermont and Massachusetts. It was an amazing opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and communicate with others and make friends. Being able to talk about our Navajo culture in front of people from other sites was also great way to share my own perspective and experience.



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