They always told me I would be back… I guess they were right.
My name is Viche’ Thomas and in the summer of 2012 I started out as an intern for the summer youth employment program, Develop Your Voice and Speak (DYVAS), as a co-facilitator. Growing up, I was mostly seen as the “good child”, whom people didn’t have to worry about because I was really quiet and got good grades but secretly, I was dealing with a lot of issues around my sense of self but felt like I had no one to confide in.Before interning at Powerful Voices, I had just recently began to love myself for the first time, had transferred to UW, and was having a hard time finding a community. After interning at Powerful Voices, I remember feeling a sense of relief, healing, and empowerment like no other. I was more than excited when they decided to offer me further employment and I was able to co-facilitate two more programs. My time at Powerful Voices was empowering and helped me gain my confidence as a black female. Thriving from this new found confidence, I left Powerful Voices to study abroad in Ghana, West Africa in the summer of 2014, to focus on identity. While in Ghana, I had the experience of sitting in the actual dungeons where slaves once sat and since then have found myself more prideful and knowledgeable in my culture and overall identity.
This summer I will be working at Powerful Voices as a Temporary Program Assistant, supporting and co-facilitating the summer employment program DYVAS, with Yecelica Valdivia. I recently just graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Sociology and will be starting off my career as an Academic Counselor for Rainier Scholars in the fall. During my time with DYVAS, I will be co-facilitating group discussions around various forms of oppression as well as helping the girls create a group zine using poetry and other forms of their creative artwork to then share with the community. As a minority myself, I am extremely passionate about empowering youth of color and am super excited to be back at Powerful Voices this summer. The picture below is me getting ready to perform interpretive dance at UW’s Black Anthology event.