Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reflections from an Adult Ally

Ashley Mouldon-2013 Adult Ally
When I made the plunge and became an Adult Ally at Powerful Voices, I wasn't quite sure what that would look like.  I knew I wanted to work with young people, help guide them to complete a polished project and make an impact in their lives.  The ActiveVistas program was where I found an outlet for my desire to connect with others living right in my own backyard here in Seattle.

The not knowing part was actually quite exciting from the start.  I was eager to meet the other Adult Allies and make connections with them as well as meet the group of young women we would be working with over the coming months.  Not like a traditional mentoring program, Adult Allies and our ActiveVistas, ended up sitting side-by-side, teaching and learning from each other, wading through heavy social justice issues and working towards a common goal of educating the public.  This was exhilarating!  I was going to be a part of something much bigger than I had ever expected.

As the days turned into weeks, myself and my ActiveVista combed through books and websites, turning bits of information into tangible examples for her to present on at the Girlvolution Conference held in April.  Although it was hard work, we both stuck with it as we each held a personal connection youth violence, the topic at hand.  In between research-heavy afternoons, I also began making those connections with the other
Adult Allies I had longed for from the start of the program.  This was just a perk, and something greatly welcomed, as I was new to the Pacific Northwest.

The project and PowerPoint presentation was coming together beautifully towards to the end of the program and I couldn't have been happier with the results.  It was amazing to see my ActiveVista come into her own, hold strong to her beliefs and truly want to make a difference in her community.  I was inspired by her tales of perseverance, hope, longing and determination to reverse the negative stereotypes she witnessed.  This program was a way for her to overcome fears and to face them head on which she did elegantly and forcefully.

As an Adult Ally, I often found myself thinking back to when I was in high school, in a small town in southern Illinois and how I wished I had had this same opportunity.  Although I didn't have this same type of program when I was a teenager, I was more than happy now, as an adult, to play this special role as an Adult Ally.

I will always remember my time at Powerful Voices as a great journey, welcomed and exciting.  It was a time for me to make new friends with others as well as explore what it was truly like to work with a young person.  It was an eye-opening and humbling experience and I’m forever grateful for the lessons both taught and learned.

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