Photo Story: Teen Action Fair

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Photo Story: Teen Action Fair

Emma Austin, Editor-in-Chief

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The Teen Action Fair 2019 hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, took place at the Bill and Melinda Gates Discovery Center on Saturday, March 21. The fair works to dissolve boundaries for teens to become involved in their schools, workplaces, and politics. Here are some of the booths that were set up this year.

 

Period: The Menstrual Movement is a non-profit, based in the the U.S., whose mission is to “end period poverty and period stigma.”  Co-founded by Nadya Okamoto and Vincent Forand, in 2014, they are leading the way in educating, serving and advocating for women and girls who have inadequate access to menstrual products and services.

They have over 300 chapters in schools all over the U.S.

One chapter from Kamiak High School had a booth at the Teen Action Fair, which allowed people passing through to make unique period packs for donation. They stamped the bags, allowed for further decoration, and filled them with pads and tampons.

 

 

We had a chance to speak with one of the organization supporters for Pongo Teen Writing, who shared how much good work director Richard Gold, the Executive Director, is doing through the program for struggling teens.

Through the project, Seattle teens in jail, and dealing with other adversity, are given a voice.

“The Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project is a volunteer, nonprofit effort with Seattle teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives.”

 

 

The Ruby Room was all about finding ways to empower young women without access. The organization is a non-profit that gives low income students the chance to pick-out and keep a dress for formal events; like prom, and homecoming.

“Learn how fashion empowers youth! Try styling a mannequin and explore how a dress can promote self-expression, confidence and inclusion…” as described by the Teen Action Fair flyer.

Ruby Room’s founder certainly understands how valuable it is for young students without much–  to be given an opportunity like finding “the perfect dress.”

 

 

The next booth was Revolutionary Roots, a program at Scriber Lake High School, that works to spark dialogue and change in their school and lives. They brought a pin maker, and a wide selection of hand cut artwork for students to choose from.

One of our RHS students made one with an illustration around the word “Empathy,” choosing from others like “Diversity,” and “Globalism.”

“Learn how teens are raising awareness about under-represented communities while promoting dialogue and unity…” found in the fair’s description of Revolutionary Roots.

 

 

Movement of Advocacy for Youth was a group of young students and activists hosting mini-games with prizes, all the while encouraging awareness of social justice and issues.

As described by the website, “Young people understand that reproductive and sexual health and rights are inextricably tied to social justice and the fight for liberation. Join thousands of youth activist and adult allies as we build a better and more equitable world.” 

 

 

Outspoken Speakers Bureau was all about educating and advocating for those that need support, and examples of healthy relationships.

The nice ladies at the booth had visitors write “traits of a healthy relationship,” on hearts for a poster meant to give inspiration. They had several resources for women who’ve felt victimized, scrutinized, and outcast, to find their voice. This included workshops, and training pamphlets.

 

 

More organizations photographed below.

 

 

These organizations and programs were few of many that made up the Teen Action Fair. In fact there is much more to come for encouraging student involvement in the future.

Actually, a group of student-leaders at RHS, on Ms. San Martin’s special council had the honor of meeting with CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, for lunch two weeks ago. Her role is beginning as a mentor for our principal, so by starting with a student held lunch, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is already proving how invaluable she finds student voices to be.