YEA Camp

YEA Camp Hero Day 5: Roberto – Having the Courage to Speak Up

dreamworkHello and welcome to Day 5 of 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes!

If you have been inspired by the 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes campaign thus far, we hope you will donate here to help more youth activists make an even bigger difference on a cause they care about.

 

roberto picToday’s YEA Camp Hero is Roberto, a passionate 17-year-old advocate from Raleigh, North Carolina, where he and his family are active with the fantastic Moral Mondays movement there. Roberto came all the way to our YEA Camp session in Massachusetts this summer “to learn how to strengthen my beliefs and convey them effectively to other people.” He wrote in his application that almost everyone at his school is “right-wing Republicans. So I need to get stronger to better express my beliefs and find a support group.”

At YEA Camp, Roberto met many like-minded campers and staff whom he taught about Moral Mondays and voters’ rights issues – what we at YEA Camp call his “Issue of Importance (IOI)”. We were all so impressed and inspired by his knowledge and commitment, and the importance of this cause.

10845950_763443113742793_7927115745181404262_nSince YEA Camp, Roberto has been speaking up confidently about political issues both at school and online in a way he says he wouldn’t be if not for YEA Camp. Whether it’s voter ID laws, raising the minimum wage,gay marriage, women’s rights, police brutality, poverty, animal cruelty, or another important (but sadly controversial) issue in his area, Roberto is advocating about it. This takes courage, as people often give him a hard time about it.

When we asked him what would be different if not for YEA Camp, he said “I would not [have] the confidence to go around school with my head held high and talk to staff about my IOI. I would not know how to be effective with debating with people at my school. I also would not ever try to talk to my principal to get anything I wanted, but now I can. After YEA Camp it made me refocus on what I am fighting for.”

robertoThis breaks our hearts but also reassures us when Roberto told us “If not for YEA Camp, I would not have the confidence to keep moving on even with the racist bigots at my school because of the great network of people I met.”

We are so proud of all Roberto is doing and glad to have played a role in his growth as an activist! (And we think he looks great in his YEA Camp t-shirt! :)

YEA Camp helps our campers get active, stay active, and take what they are already doing to the next level. We rely on your donations to support youth like Roberto to promote open-mindedness, compassion, respectful discourse, and civic engagement to their peers. You can donate here to help us grow our own work to the next level. We appreciate your continued support.

Missed previous days? Here’s Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking about about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, and Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 6 of 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes!

And if you know (or are!) a change-making teen like Roberto, join us at YEA Camp this summer!