“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” -Dolores Huerta
Sophie Guity comes from an Afro-Latin American household. As a young girl she battled with the understanding her many identities. This battle lead to many disciplinary issues that she later came to understand were because she didn’t have a mentor to show her the way. This prompted her love for education and the freedoms that it can bring to the individual. She quickly learned how to use her own resilience in helping the youth find their selves out. Sophie believes that the essential part of being a leader is self knowledge and self love. She is currently attending the CUNY Murphy Institute as an Urban and Community Studies major. She aspires to continue working with youth, specifically in understanding the power in their stories, because it is most important that we uplift the youth for they are our future.
Sophie: Being a RAP facilitator means the world to me. The youth bring a certain energy that puts me at ease in a world where there’s just so much turmoil going on. They bring me back to center by letting me know that we have a future and that they are that future. The youth have a way of being optimistic and seeing the long-term plan without being deterred; that’s a trait that we should all aspire to have.
I have been with RAP since the summer, and I have been able to hold deep conversations with our youth leaders. Many in government, lawmakers, and those in power say that is impossible, but I can say with certainty that it isn’t. The youth are always being counted out, especially if when they are disenfranchised kids of color. At RAP, I am able to not only fulfill my passion of educating but of also teaching kids who have been made to feel that they don’t matter, that they do matter.
As I move forward with RAP, I look forward to learning from the youth that I will have the privilege to meet. I want to make sure that I allow room for individual growth and a sense of safety in world that can eat you alive if you don’t stand for something. I am excited to see what’s to come next to be a part of their journey.
Favio German joined RAP after serving three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. While in Paraguay, he mobilized community members to address social determinants of health through group facilitation, community projects and sexual health education at the local high school. Favio extended his service a third year to work as the Volunteer Coordinator in the Health Sector, where he trained new volunteers, designed a comprehensive youth peer education framework for the Peace Corps and advised the development of a Paraguayan Government program. He is a firm believer in the power of self-awareness as a driver for community change and that group work plays a vital role in this process, especially with regards to youth.