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July 5th - August 11th, 2023

We Can’t Breathe Inc (WCB) Summer Youth Employment Program

General Programming: 


Turning Passion Into Purpose: Often students don’t start thinking about career and purpose until they’re well into their working life. We wanted to provide our Summer Youth Interns a chance to get started early! Throughout the summer Dr. Dianne worked hand in hand with our students to help them identify their areas of passion, and explore how they can best turn their passions into their purpose. 


Career Skills Development: To complement our work helping students discover and plan around their passions and purpose, we worked with students to develop their professional skills and toolkit. We worked on tasks such as resume building, grant and scholarship research, and went with them to learn more about historical locations in NYC


Workshops and Events: 


Righteous Anger and Civil Rights: During the program, the interns delved into civil rights and applied their knowledge to their community projects. They also shared their perspectives on "Righteous Anger" and its personal significance while learning about my father, Eric Garner. To broaden their understanding, we watched two documentaries highlighting the history and global impact of civil rights. Each intern received a copy of my book, "Finding My Voice," which narrates my own journey and how it helped me find my voice.


Artivism: We had the privilege of connecting with my dear friend, Film Producer, and Actress Jamie Burton-Oare, who spoke about art & activism (Artivism) and her journey as a Black Female Filmmaker. Her documentary about my father will premiere at the Detroit Film Festival next month, and we hope to secure sponsors so our interns can attend the event alongside the amazing actors and producers involved with the film.


Financial Literacy: Financial literacy was a crucial aspect of our program, and we were fortunate to collaborate with Barry and Valerie Braxton, the Founders of Braxton Global Inc. Their expertise and guidance in starting a business, building credit, and providing information on loans and investments proved invaluable to our interns. Barry's extensive entrepreneurial experience and Valerie's work with the NYC Department of Education, where she created a financial literacy program for Middle School Students and families, left a significant impact on our interns.


The Immigrant Experience + Harvard Workshop: Our interns had the opportunity to converse with Christopher Egi, a Harvard Graduate Athlete and Founder of the organization "NoMoreNames." His journey pursuing his Law Degree and Bachelor's Degree in Economics at Harvard, as well as his move from Canada to the US, inspired and enlightened our interns.


Pitch Building Exercise: We worked with the interns to craft a personal and professional pitch, highlighting their best qualities in a short presentation we affectionately named "All About Me!" It is vital to acknowledge the greatness within young individuals, especially when they may not see it themselves.

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