“I learned from Transformations Camp that nobody can stop your passion.” – Maria (14-year-old camp participant).
Last week (July 25-29th), YWCA Spokane hosted its annual Transformations Camp! This is a week-long empowerment experience designed for young women of color, ages 11-15 who can gather in a safe environment to build confidence, identify their own strengths, and build healthy lasting relationships.
2018’s Transformations Camp
YWCA Spokane began the Transformations Camp program in 2014 in response to a growing request for support with self-esteem and identity issues from young women of color.
This year’s camp was facilitated by Tyrice Brown who was assisted by August Corrpetts returning to us from last year.
Tyrice is an amazing Y woman who interned for our CEO, Regina Malveaux at the YWCA South Hampton Roads and went on to graduate with a B.A. in Women’s and African American studies, and more recently with a MFA in Creative Writing and Poetry from the women’s college, Mills College, in Oakland.
While at Mills College Tyrice served as the lead facilitator at The Mentoring Center using a trauma informed approach to working with young women of color who were CSEC (Commercially Sexually Exploited Children) and juvenile justice involved.
August Corrpetts, who assisted Tyrice at this year’s camp is a student at Gonzaga University and served as a co-facilitator in our Transformations Camp last year.
Super Cool Empowering Project
In order to promote positive social media relationships, we explored the power of the #hashtag! Students had this writing prompt: “What is your body’s most successful failure?”
They started by writing a page on what this means to them, then they summarized it down to a paragraph, then a sentence, and then they condensed their thoughts into just a hashtag.
The purpose was not only to build writing composition and critical thinking skills, but it encouraged students to use social media as a way to attract a positive network of people through the power of a hashtag that represents issues they care about!
Some hashtags from our camp included: #differenthairdifferentcare #musicforthemind #lonewolfdaughter #poetryispowerful #quitsoftballforsoccer #staystrong #flyhigh #yourpoweriscommunication #callpeopleinnotout
What this experience meant to our young ladies:
- “I didn’t know much about my “color” this camp opened my mind to the beauty of my color, I want to learn more now.” –La’Quinda (16-year-old camp participant).
- “I learned more about equity, empowerment.” –Chelbie (14-year-old camp participant).
- “Transformations Camp is a chance for young women to meet each other and speak about our experiences.” –Maita (13-year-old camp participant).
- Reasons I loved the camp: “Meeting new people, and having new experiences causing there to be open doors and great opportunities and memorable adventures.” –Mayah (14-year-old camp participant).
- “This camp reminded me that happiness exist when you stop comparing yourself to others.” –Micaela (13-year-old camp participant).
- “I learned from Transformations Camp that nobody can stop your passion.” –Maria (14-year-old camp participant).
- “I learned: don’t be afraid to express who you are.” –Mariah (13-year-old camp participant).
- “This year’s group is a rad bunch of females of color joining hands to lift each other up by holding space for difficult conversations about topics we as adults often shy away from. They are challenging norms and bettering the Spokane community through encouraging diversity, inclusion, and promoting love for all. They have been “othered” in many ways, but still they love their community and are empowered to be the change they seek. The future is bright If they are the ones leading. I am proud to have had the privilege to help them explore their culture and embrace their identity.” –Tyrice Brown (facilitator)
- “This is my second year facilitating this camp and it is the best week of my summer. I am extremely passionate about uplifting and supporting women of color, and this camp is a week of empowerment. These girls are inspiring and passionate and I love the opportunity to share my story with them to let them know that they are not alone with what they are going through. Through discussing healthy relationship, self-love, and race, we are able to connect and find tools to navigate everyday life with positivity. I am so thankful for this opportunity and will never forget my time spent with the amazing youth of Spokane.” –August Corrpetts (co-facilitator)
Sneak Peek into the camp’s events
On day 4 of the camp, our students were hosted by our friends at Eastern Washington University, Dr. Shari Williams-Clarke, VP of Diversity and Inclusion and Angela Jones, VP of Advancement. They had an amazing day and learned about the campus, its multicultural departments, the Running Start Program, and EWU’s HBCU dual enrollment option. You can see photos from this field trip in the gallery below.
Thank you to Our 2018 Transformations Camp Sponsor
This year’s Transformations Camp was sponsored by The Johnston-Hanson Foundation. The foundation’s primary focus is education. They support the arts, including music and museums and social services.
We’d also like to thank our great programmatic partnerships with the Spokane Library for our coding class and Eastern Washington University’s office of Diversity and Inclusion for the wonderful luncheon, discussion, and campus tour.
Transformations Camp provides workshops on what to do when bullied, how to celebrate personal uniqueness, what a healthy relationship looks like, healthy discussions about body image, and how to resolve conflict– while developing lasting connections with their cohort members and is a springboard for leadership opportunities moving forward.
We are so thankful to have young women in Spokane join us for a week long empowerment experience. This camp is free for participants and includes a progressive curriculum, lunch, and field trips.
If you missed our deadline this year, we hope you consider joining us next year for this memorable experience.