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Youth

What is Turning Point’s Youth Program About?

Our Youth Group offers Muslim girls and young women (ages 13-20 years) a supportive peer network and safe space to address social, peer and familial pressures, learn about their rights as Muslim girls/women and as Americans as they navigate their way through daily challenges unique to Muslims living in post 9/11 New York. The peer network offers them opportunities to develop self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills.

A huge barrier facing young Muslim girls born in the U.S. is that many of their immigrant parents are fearful and intimidated by the hostile post-9/11 climate, and hesitate to seek help from mainstream agencies, even when they recognize a problem in the family. The youth group allows them an opportunity and a safe space to discuss issues and seek solutions collectively.

The youth group also helps teenagers understand the value of education, staying focused, and taking charge of their own lives. The group has made an incredible impact on many girls who have gained self-confidence, developed leadership skills, and found their strength thus feeling empowered, to talk about critical issues that affect their daily lives such as peer, familial, and societal pressures as well as gender, ethnic, and religious discrimination. At Turning Point, girls feel a sense of peace, belongingness, wellness, support, and empowerment.

The group meets once a week and functions like a peer support group. In a group setting, the girls have often brainstormed to find answers/solutions to difficult issues and problems.

Mecca to Manhattan: Muslim Women Moving Mountains®

 

(M2M) is our popular, flagship leadership training series for Muslim girls and young women ages 13-20 years. M2M connects the young participants with younger female leaders in the Muslim community. Since 2009, M2M has been held every Spring (except 2015 & 2016 when our Youth Program was inactive). The facilitators, all Muslim females, serve as role models as they engage the participants in interactive workshops and inspire them by discussing their own professions, educational paths, and experiences as Muslim women working in NYC in their fields. Participants are given the tools and platform to express their creativity, develop leadership, communication and public speaking skills, and explore their own educational/career paths. Many facilitators also continue to mentor the young participants.

 

ARISE NY! Anti-Bullying and Hate Crime Campaign

 

Our ARISE NY! Anti-Bullying and Hate Crime campaign was envisioned and created in 2010 by our youth members in response to the bullying, stereotyping and Islamophobia that they faced in their daily lives. This campaign has since morphed into a much broader project. We now conduct regular ARISE NY! workshops at schools, libraries and in partnership with other organizations to address the ongoing issues of bullying, stereotyping, and hate crimes faced by youth. We also address other issues including peer pressure, “ fitting in”, identity, feelings of isolation or being outcast etc. that impact the lives of NYC youth. The highlight of this project is an annual citywide ARISE NY! Interfaith Anti-bullying Summit open to all youth (Muslim and non-Muslim youth ages 13-20) If you would like to schedule a free workshop in your school, library, or organization, please email info@tpny.org or call 718-886-9500.

How Can I Join the Group?

For more information about the Turning Point Youth Group please contact us at 718-886-9500 or email: info@tpny.org. For more news on youth activities visit us on Facebook    

Youth Speak…

One Youth Group member talks about what it was like to participate in a Turning Point Event
“I wrote a poem…and I read it out loud to everyone in the room, including extended family members. I read that we too have relationships, feelings and broken hearts…It felt so good to talk about it…For some of the girls, it was such a big deal to let the mothers know what they are talking about and experiencing these real life issues…Some people in the audience were so happy that this came out and we were talking about these issues. It was intense, and really powerful; even the psychiatrist who was there said ‘Wow, these girls are going through a lot’.”

Youth Group Member