Latin@ youth plan a virtual conference in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Esperanza United is hosting an annual conference led by our Fuerza Unida Amig@ youth on February 26th from 9:30AM-3:00PM CT. Our youth leaders chose the theme, Find your Poder, Find your Comunidad and created our conference logo.  We continue to live in a pandemic where the health of our youth participants and our community is of utmost importance. Youth are experiencing ‘zoom fatigue’ and wanting to interact with their peers in person. With this in mind, we organized a conference that is both virtual and interactive through a platform called Gather. Gather allows youth to create a virtual avatar and participate in the conference modeled after a video game.  Youth spent nearly three months brainstorming, designing, and editing a virtual space where our youth and presenters could come together and feel like they were in the same room. Gather is a unique program because it allows for life-like interactions. In the program, you are able to turn on your microphone and camera for others to see you. The catch is that when you move your avatar from a room you will also cease to see or hear the folks that leave your close vicinity. You are also able to locate people on a map, interact with objects, enter different rooms, and even speak to one of our advocates in a private space.  We asked one of our youth leaders, Julio, what he would like others to know about teen dating violence and this conference. He responded, “Teen dating violence can happen to anyone and it is something that is really hard to overcome alone. I want others to know that they should ask for help. That is why we created this conference. We also have a lot of other topics like ethnic studies and how to relax”.  We invite all youth nationwide aged 11-18 to RSVP for this free conference taking place on February 26th . Get ready a day full of fun and connection with your peers!