Young Black & Everywhere

Creating New Perspectives

Photo of Anastasia Walton
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Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

“Young Black and Everywhere,” initially started as a travel blog I created to show people that where you come from has no limitations on where you can go. What began as a blog is now destined to transform into a community abroad program. What made me want to create a project like this is due to the fact that a lot of youth in Oakland are not given the opportunity to travel outside of the Bay Area. Which leaves them with lack of perspective on the world and the various cultures that surround us.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

A big problem in Oakland is the high number of black youth constantly entering the juvenile justice system, which introduces them into a never-ending cycle of going in and out of the system until they are adults. A cycle like this does not only strip youth from their childhood and valuable life lessons, but also only prepares them for a future in the adult justice system.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I plan on solving this problem by creating a project, that allows youth from Oakland who have been a part of the juvenile justice system to travel and learn about the world outside their community. A major reason youth are so prone to getting into trouble that leads them to the juvenile justice system is because they are forced to believe the world is no bigger than their community. In other words – they must focus on so many problems at home or in their everyday lives that they are unable to acquire the idea that life is much more than the problems they face on a daily.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Prior to going abroad; youth involved with my project will participate in a six-month preparation course that will include; assistance with obtaining passports, creative writing exercises, lessons centered on the history and culture of their abroad destination, team building, reading various well-known literature, and community service. The projects core values will be respect, understanding, growth, and being open minded.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

My project differs from other projects because it focuses on youth who have been a part of the juvenile justice system. There are many youth study abroad programs but there are none locally that are specifically for youth who have been in the juvenile justice system.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Although my project is still in the idea-stage; the way I plan on making sure it makes a difference is by continuing being a positive mentor to every youth I work with even after their participation in my project. I plan on constantly gaining feedback from various leaders and youth of my community on how I can improve my project. Also, I will keep note of the percentage of youth who do not re-enter the juvenile justice system after participating in my project.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

My next plan for my project is creating an in-depth layout of the programs 6-month lesson plan and the itinerary for the abroad destination.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Funding is the main resource I need to make this project a reality. I already have various community leaders who are willing to participate and mentor the youth who will be apart of this program. The first group of youth who will participate are already identified due to my partnership with the youth development program “The Biz Stoop” in Oakland, California. Funding will allow me to help youth gain their passports; pay for food, literature, abroad activities, transportation, and lodging

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I believe it will be beneficial to partner with the Changemakers who created “The Youth Bar” project. Their vision of creating a safe and healthy place for youth to socialize and interact with each other; pairs perfectly with my project’s core values. It will also give the youth I work with a safe place to go to during and after their participation with my project.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nike

Hi Anastasia! I loved your idea. I feel like you gave an option that many people don't think about. I think your commitment can make a great difference. I'm really interested in keeping updated on it. All the best!

Photo of Anastasia Walton

Thank you so much! I love your idea too! My best friend has sickle cell so it is a real close to home subject. Your project will help bring a lot of needed awareness! Please keep it up.

Photo of Nike

What a coincidence! I hope your friend is keeping strong. It would be great to keep in touch. My project's Facebook is and our twitter is @sicklethecycle. Congrats on making it to the next phase! Best of luck!!

Photo of Anastasia Walton

Thank you! Congratulations also, I wish you the best of luck! I will follow your project's Facebook, perhaps we can stay in-touch through there.

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