Editor’s note: This article was written by Fama Dia, a long-time leader of ALG’s Youth Empowerment Program. Fama will be starting high school in August.
My name is Fama Dia, I recently completed my eighth-grade year at Murphy Creek P-8 school and will be starting my freshman year of high school in the fall.
I am involved with the African Leadership Group’s Youth Empowerment Program, created for first-generation children of immigrants to have a safe space to share the challenges they face at school, at home, and in their communities as a whole.
This summer, I am interning with ALG to learn and grow as a leader. ALG has opened so many opportunities for not just me but many of my peers in the Youth Empowerment Program.
I have been able to put my leadership skills to the test and prove myself worthy. One of the many times I was put to the test was when I ran for Youth Empowerment Program President as a 10-year-old fourth-grader. I ran against my peers who were almost twice my age. The pressure was definitely there but I spoke clearly and with purpose and proved that no matter my age I have good ideas and with all the hard work and dedication I put into running I won and was elected president.
Although being president brought a lot of special privileges and it may have seemed like it was going to be all fun and games, it wasn’t. I had to make decisions about what the whole student body wanted, like where we would go for field trips or who should be chosen to win various awards.
The biggest job of all was speaking at ALG’s annual gala, which was celebrated during the Afrik Impact, ALG’s annual fundraising event.. This would have been the third annual gala so no mistakes were permitted. Government officials were going to be there, so imagine a 10-year-old speaking in front of a room full of successful adults.
I had practiced my speech over and over again because this was yet another time when I had to prove I was worthy of my title. Once I got up on stage it was like all my fears and stresses floated away with the wind and I did my speech with not one fault.
Each year everyone in the community looks forward to Afrik Impact because it’s a time when community members get to come together, share their similarities and differences and just have a good time.
I love Afrik Impact because it’s like a special holiday that has an effect on everyone’s heart and leaves them yearning for more.
Please join us this summer for Afrik Impact. You won’t regret it!