Activist Profile: Oregon YEA Camper Deborah speaks to 900 people at Planned Parenthood luncheon

youth activist


Activist Profile: Deborah W.

Fourteen-year-old YEA Camper Deborah, who attended the Oregon 2011 camp, is committed to young women like herself having access to sex education and reproductive health care no matter what their social or economic background is. At camp, she felt like she got the tools to go from “just being a loony teenager” to someone who could be active and make a difference on this issue. Since then, she started volunteering at Planned Parenthood in Portland several times per month. She chose to volunteer and fundraise with Planned Parenthood because, according to Deborah, “They are really on the ball, providing sexual and reproductive health care to women, men and teens.”

Deborah did a simple and brilliant thing any of us could do: she had a birthday party fundraiser that raised $450 for the organization! In recongnition of her fundraising, volunteering and commitment, Deborah was recently invited to speak at Portland’s Planned Parenthood annual luncheon. She spoke in front of 900 people, sharing about her fundraiser and asking others to contribute to the organization. In fact, she was the final speaker who did the all-important fundraising appeal. How’d she do? The event raised over $172,000 for Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette–whoa! Way to go, Deborah! “I was very nervous, but it was AMAZING! and I got a lot of positive feedback,” she says.

There were some prominent Oregonians in attendance at the luncheon who congratulated Deborah on her achievement. She was even encouraged to run for office! This goes to show that sometimes teens have more power than adults to speak out about an issue due to their age!

To see pictures of this event, click here.

Got a message of thanks or encouragement for Deborah, or want to ask her about how she has done all this cool stuff? Comment below!