On January 21, over 145 teens and 72 adults flocked to FBR@THEARC (FBR) in Ward 8 for the BIG Teen Give Back. This day of service was part of the MLK Teen Takeover Weekend, and it commemorated the 4th Anniversary of the #OurLivesMatter Teen Campaign. Teens participated in nine different service projects including distributing meals to those in need, hosting elementary school students to create art projects, and spending time with elders at the Keuhner House.
The #OurLivesMatter campaign started in October of 2015, as the country was reeling from the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. During this time, BGCGW teen staff and volunteers at FBR were seeking solace and discussing how to best provide answers and a space for dialogue for scared and confused teens. The campaign resonated with many in the greater Washington area, eventually leading to a series of events that would expand beyond DC. Now in its fourth year, the BIG Teen Give Back is a part of FBR Teen Services Director LeVar A. Jones’ vision of “changing the narrative” for how black and brown youth are perceived in the community.
Following a welcome ceremony, FBR’s Teen Ambassadors lead the nine service projects. The teens were filled with enthusiasm, coming from as far as Danville, VA to participate. Mr. LeVar was moved by the smiles on the seniors’ faces while spending time with the teens. “To have these two generations, come together, be that happy and share that much was really a bright spot of the day.” Upon returning to the Club after the projects, teens facilitated a discussion about the impact of their service. In this moment, Mr. LeVar was confident this event would become the premiere MLK day of service for teens. BGCGW is incredibly proud of the efforts by the volunteers, staff and teens in making this event a success.
Programs and events to develop leadership skills, inspire change and build community are only made possible through BGCGW’s generous donors. To learn more about BGCGW programs and events, be sure to follow us on social media and our website.
Click on the photos below so see some highlights from the day:
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