WISCONSIN DELLS (SPECTRUM NEWS) — More than 500 students spent four cold February days inside Khalari’s Convention Center learning how to become better versions of themselves.
Dare2KnowWI Youth Outreach Specialist Cia Siab Vaj Vang knows how important it is to teach her Stevens Point Hmong girls about creating healthy relationships.
‘To me it’s really healing. It brings me back to my roots,’ Vang said.
Vang was about to take eleven girls in her so called ‘Sisterhood’ into another training seminar.
‘We’re learning about problems that aren’t really talked about in schools, so like oppression race and gender and healthy relationships,’ Vang said.
In the Hmong community, she says it is particularly hard for teens to talk about these tough topics.
‘And so they don’t see a lot of healthy relationships and they don’t get taught about what a healthy relationship is, so we rarely see it, Vang said.
Girls like 14 year old Neveah Yang are excited to learn and empower others when they head home.
‘So I think coming to this conference and taking our work back to them, it gives them hope and so they know our daughters are doing something great.’ Yang said.
End Domestic Abuse’s Cody Warner says the $70,000 4-day Teen Summit is paid for through state grants and donations. It gives the state’s youth and their mentors a place to come talk it out.
‘They are able to network and interact with other adult mentors and see their youth really thrive.’
You can learn more about the summit and the organizations supporting it here.