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Posted on 22 Apr 2021

Connection, collaboration and empowerment at YoungPower

In March, the now annual YoungPower conference was held online for the first time. In collaboration with the American School in London and joined by other young people from across London, the conference offers WA Sixth Form students the opportunity to break down stereotypes, explore issues of power, prejudice and privilege, and identify paths for taking action in their communities. This year the event featured exciting speakers and workshops, described below by our Year 12 and 13 students.

"At the peak of #reclaimthestreets and #textmewhenyougethome, the Young Power Conference brought to light the potential that young females have to make a difference. This was the second time I had the privilege of being a discussion leader at the YoungPower conference, and hearing from Dania in Year 12 and her moving story of self-discovery and looking past societal criticism and norms, as well as Deja Foxx's story on her journey to becoming a reproductive rights activist and the youngest person to work on Kamala Harris' presidential campaign as a homeless teenager and woman of a minority in America, I, as a woman of today's society, felt genuinely empowered to make a difference within myself as well as with the footprint I'm leaving as my journey at WA is coming to an end." Nuzha Noukri, Year 13

"Despite the conference being done over zoom, the connections that were formed by the people who attended through the words and ideas that we shared showed us that really truly we all just want the same thing, regardless of the differences we all face." Taha Ben Tahar, Year 12

"Young Power was a very comforting experience. Especially in regards to the Black Lives Matter Panel where ideas I was already familiar with and agreed with were explained in depth by the speakers - Azekel Axelle, Temi Mwale and Adam Elliott-Cooper. At times I struggle to properly articulate what I'm trying to convey when I speak so it was nice to hear from people who understood my perspective and could formulate it in such an effective way. It genuinely spoke to my soul. In addition, Deja Foxx's story was extremely inspiring, the way in which she uses it to enlighten others is breathtaking. She said 'The things that we are taught to hide are often those that hold the most power' that will honestly stick with me forever. I'm glad I helped organise this event." Lucy Lahai, Year 12

"The YoungPOWER conference was incredibly eye-opening and interesting. They had some brilliant ideas for engaging everyone in the conversations, such as the breakout rooms, the silent movement activity, and the workshops. Even though the conference took place on Zoom, the connectivity issues were small and everything went smoothly. I am looking forward to next year's meeting, hopefully in person!"  Diana Carapcea, Year 12

"It was very inspiring and I was finally able to comprehend the fact that I haven’t gone through certain things alone because there are others that feel the same way and have experienced the same prejudice in society." Mehnaaz Khan, Year 12

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