When Lori began her work in Bethel, one of the first things she did was to volunteer in the schools. Working with her friend Mrs. Turner in Kindergarten was a complete joy and eye opener. It was also a heart breaker. This is where Lori saw the real damage of poverty and neglect. This is where Lori saw students so hungry they were getting in trouble for misbehaving. Empower Youth was born out of that hurt for the children.

Supporting schools has always been a priority for EY. Whether it’s introducing the student weekend food program, offering incentives for students with moonbounces and snowcones, or doing our Leadership Classes– EY wants to be involved with schools and build encouraging relationships with the teachers and students.

Currently, Empower Youth is offering Leadership Packages to schools that include Live training (30-45 minutes) with Lori and other qualified trainers for the students in a small or large group setting, handouts discussing the main point, engaging activities, and the props to go with all the many object lessons used to tell the stories.  Empower Youth has embraced the Leader In Me concept and uses the 7 Habits of Happy Kids to weave into the lives of students. We teach 6 sessions throughout the year and end with a party/graduation session in May for all the students who have taken on the role of Leader in their schools.

These classes are adapted according to the needs of the school. In Bethel Middle School, the sessions will be Large group/small group settings with each grade level all together. However, in Amelia Elementary the trainers come to every individual 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes teaching to just small groups.

Lori Conley, our Executive Director, has gone full time with Empower Youth to be able to offer these classes to as many schools as possible. We do ask for a nominal fee to cover the cost of supplies– but it is well worth it according to everyone who has participated in them.

Poverty Workshops began as a way to introduce teachers, administrators, community leaders, and customer service-oriented companies to the hidden rules and nuances of working folks who come from generational poverty. This class is intended to educate the community at large on how to truly step in and be a help instead of hurting or demeaning those they try to help. This class is best done in a 2 hour block but can be catered easily for a teacher in-service hour or used as a morning workshop. It’s a fast rapid-fire class that takes the resources of Ruby Payne and the experiences of Empower Youth locally to bring a very relevant class. Some folks even take the exact same class twice and still want to come again to pick up on things they missed.  This class can be hosted by a school, church, or company. Lori and Scott do not charge personally to present the class or for the materials as the desire to get this in the hands of everyone is a great importance to them.

If you would like more information on our in school leadership classes or poverty workshop, please contact Lori at toempoweryouth@gmail.com.