YES We Can: Our Statement on Racial Injustice
Youth Enrichment Services has been entrenched in the grassroots day to day lives of young teens and their families through the struggles of accessing opportunities for social advancement, cultural enrichment, workforce development, and overall empowerment. We recognize our efforts for equity, justice, and access must continue for the sake of our youth and their futures.
It is with incredible passion, endearing love, and ultimate faith that we stand with our students, communities, and nation during these trying times. We pray for the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and want our youth and communities to know we love them, support them, and encourage them. We extend our hand to foundations, to corporations, to sponsors, and other stakeholders who we hope will join us so that our efforts can be magnified, and our resources can be plentiful as we strive to overcome these daunting and challenging times. We have been invited to see the lives of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd through their family members and communities, and we know they were purpose-filled individuals whose lives mattered, just like the youth we serve. We mourn their memories and pray for their families’ strength, and most importantly, we keep the fire burning as we better ourselves at being responsive to coalitions and the needs of our constituents and stakeholders who stand with us in solidarity.
Collectively, we say their names. We remember their promise, their voices, and their stories. And we honor their legacies.
'We're losing our kids': Black youth suicide rate rising far faster than for whites; coronavirus, police violence deepen trauma
By Jayne O'Donnell USA TODAY
June 7, 2020
WASHINGTON – A decade after she tried to take her life as a college freshman, Victoria Waltz, a gifted child who played the harp, is only beginning to understand how things got so bad.
"It's been a journey and a process from then to now," said Waltz, now 28. "It was a slow build up over time, starting in middle school. I had a lot of challenges trying to fit in and not knowing to talk about how I was really feeling."
Girls started to bully the too tall, too smart girl with acne and glasses, who grew up middle class in Prince George's County, Maryland, one of the wealthiest black counties in the U.S.
Aabrielle Spear remembers the first time she felt truly hopeless. She was in kindergarten and also bullied by classmates.
Spear had suicidal thoughts by third grade, compounded by her parents’ separation, strict teachers and her mother's career and graduate studies, which sometimes kept her from home until late at night.
Now 14 and more than a year from her last suicide attempt, Spear joins Waltz among black teen suicide survivors. Both are speaking out to dispel misconceptions about treatment and to raise awareness.