Youth Stories

Angela Montero - My Story

When I first started work I got a purple T-shirt.  It was about two sizes too big, and the back sported a giant picture of a condom with the bolded words “No Glove No Love, Ask me for Condoms”.  This shirt haunted me.  I had taken a lot of big steps that year.  I had joined the Young Women’s Project (YWP) as a peer educator, attended sexual health trainings, led focus groups, but this, this was impossible.  There was no hiding in the crowd with this shirt on.  No, this shirt was my scarlet letter, a Giant Purple Condom. Read more... 

Ashley Strange - My Story

When I first started working at YWP two years ago most people described me as shy, quiet, and a person who wasn’t able to accomplish much on my own. II was afraid to speak up for things that I knew I needed because I didn’t want to seem like I was complaining. People use to always tell me to just be satisfied with what I had, but how could I be satisfied with the things I had when I knew I deserved so much more?  When I first started working at YWP I was a year from aging out of foster care. This was a time when I needed guidance and support but I was not really getting it. I didn’t feel like I could do anything or get anything done. Everyone around me was so outspoken and passionate about what they were doing and I felt out of place. I really felt like I could never make a change in my life or in the lives of my peers. Read more...

Elleny Ayano - My Story

Before I began working with The Young Women's Project, I was extremely shy and found that I wasn’t so great in public speaking and writing. I was also very bored since after school I would normally either go home or volunteer in the community in order to gain community service hours. After working here for about 2 years, I can honestly say that I have gained confidence through the various opportunities I have experienced at YWP. Just to name a few, I have been given the opportunity to testify in front of DC council members about various issues youth face in the city, communicate with and educate my peers about sexual reproductive health topics and overall gain skills to become not only an advocate for myself but also for the people around me. During my time here, I have been able to not only see a positive difference in my own personal life but also in the system. Things have changed for the better with many of my peers because of the work we have done. Overall, I am glad to be a youth working to a make a change and I look forward to constant growth as I continue to be part of such an amazing team!