Kelly Grosser of North Coventry Township, YWCA Tri-County Area’s director of Youth Empowerment Programs, was one of 35 delegates from the United States attending World YWCA’s 29th World Council in November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Grosser was a non-voting delegate at the World Council, which occurs every four years as the largest gathering of YWCAs from across the globe. More than 300 delegates from local YWCA associations met to exchange ideas and set priorities for the global YWCA movement. World YWCA works for women’s empowerment, leadership and rights in more than 120 countries and 20,000 local communities, uniting women from many different faiths, ages, backgrounds, beliefs and cultures.
“I was excited to see what young women are doing to impact change in their communities and to learn how they engage the young women in their communities in leadership,” Grosser said. “It was an acknowledgement that what we’re doing in the Tri-County Area is in support of a massive worldwide movement to empower young women.”
A vital component of YWCA Tri-County Area’s mission is the empowerment of girls, focusing on adolescent girls who are coming of age, discovering and forming their self-identities, challenging their parents and teachers, forging new relationships with peers, and experimenting with behaviors both positive and negative. YW’s Healthy Pathways Project works with in a multi-faceted program that nurtures physical and emotional well-being, empowering youth with knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school, in their relationships, and in their future careers by cultivating healthy habits surrounding nutrition, fitness, and stress-reduction, and by developing positive behaviors, including accountability, goalsetting, resilience, confidence, and self-care.
World YWCA has set a goal to impact 100 million women 30 and younger by 2035, empowering them to challenge power structures both locally and globally to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war, and to lead a sustainable YWCA movement inclusive of all women. Locally, YWCA Tri-County Area is exploring ways to engage young women in advocating for the empowerment of women and girls.
“YWCA Tri County Area is motivated to grow an international program that enhances leadership and advocacy opportunities for the young women and girls in our community. Attending World Council 2019 was a step in making that vision a reality,” Grosser said. “If I can be in a place where the rights and equity of women and girls are at the forefront, I welcome the opportunity. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with women and girls working to transform power structures for gender equity on a global scale.”
YWCA Tri-County Area is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YW3CA is a leader in advocacy for women and girls, works to eliminate racism, and empowers women through quality affordable early education, adult education, and a host of programs to support the well-being and vitality of women, girls, and families.
To learn more about YW3CA’s Youth Empowerment Program, please visit ywcatricountyarea.org/what-we-do/yep/.