Sexual Assault Awareness Pledge Drive - April 2015

EMPOWERU Ambassadors conducted a weeklong pledge drive to get students to take a pledge against sexual assault. Over 200 students took the pledge. This program was the first step in starting a very important conversation.

World Sight Day – October 2015

EMPOWERU partnered with Lighthouse of Manasota and Community Youth Development to bring awareness to the local and global issues of blindness and vision impairment.

“This event was so much fun! It was a great way to expose students to the realities of those with a vision disability,” shared event creator and EMPOWERU founder, Minnah. “The kids especially loved putting on the impaired vision and blindness goggle simulators and walking with the white canes.” And, for those whose schedule precluded them from attending, Minnah made sure they were still involved, writing impactful vision statistics in chalk on the sidewalks around campus.

“Wow! What an enthusiastic group of kids. They were so open to learning about what life is like for people who are blind or vision impaired,” reflected Lisa Howard, Director of Development at Lighthouse of Manasota. “They asked such good questions. I think they left this event with a much better understanding that those with a vision disability are just like them; they just have to do things a little bit differently.”

Watching guest speaker Randy Reed, Lighthouse of Manasota Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, (who happens to be blind) use his talking iPhone to take a selfie was another event highlight as was the roll ball game Maddy Spencer, Lighthouse of Manasota Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist, had the kids play using a special ball with bells in it so players can hear the ball coming.

Cara Mackler, Community Youth Development Coordinator for Volunteer Programs, had this to add about the event, “We’re always happy to see events that get kids and local non-profits connected to learn and have fun. This event definitely did that.

If you are interested in participating in the festivities for World Sight Day 2016, click on the Learn More icon below and we’ll send you information when it is available.

The Facts About Vision

It Happened Here Screenings – April 2016

In 2016 over 1,500 students in Sarasota County participated in the EMPOWERU sexual assault education initiative, viewing the documentary It Happened Here and participating in an informative Q&A session with Sarasota’s Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) counselors.

High school students share their thoughts after viewing a screening
of It Happened Here.

CYD Is Empowering Youth As Leaders In Service To Their Community

I began volunteering with CYD in 2013 when I enrolled in their SRQVolunteen program and then followed that up by completing their STAR Leadership program in 2014. Both programs changed how I view the world and my role in it. CYD helped me find my voice as an activist and turned me into a passionate contributor to my global community. I’m an active CYD volunteer, and I serve on their Volunteen Board. I encourage any teen in the area to get involved with CYD!

SSAIS Is Stopping Sexual Assault In Schools

Stop Sexual Assault In Schools (SSAIS) is a national nonprofit proactively addressing the epidemic of traumatic sexual harassment impacting our nation’s students. SSAIS provides students, K-12 schools, and organizations resources so the right to an equal education is not compromised by sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination. I’m the youngest member of the SSAIS Advisory Board. Our big initiative we are working on now is creating a FREE DVD “Sexual Assault: Not In Our School,” which is an educational program for K-12 students, families, schools, and lawmakers about gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment/violence, and protections under Title IX. Learn more at

Our Partners

EMPOWER U is so happy to have the help of our partners. It is through their support and that of our volunteers that
EMPOWER U can reach out to high school students in our county to empower them to impact positive change.

© 2016 EmpowerU
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