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Youth Leading the Way in February

proud to empower students

February is such a short, but meaningful month – it’s Black History Month and it’s also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM).

As a Black woman, it made my heart so full to kick off the first week of February at Crispus Attucks High School with my Youth Network. Crispus Attucks High School has such a rich history and is such a prominent monument in the history of Indianapolis and how far we have come as a city.

Youth Network students from Crispus Attucks High School pose for a selfie.

Youth Network students from Crispus Attucks High School pose for a selfie.

Crispus Attucks has produced so many prominent figures in history and broken so many barriers as a school in Indianapolis. It was an honor to host our TDVAM events during the lunch hour in the school built for Black students in Indianapolis. The only thing that made it greater was the fact that the Youth Network students planned everything.


Student led & driven

The Youth Network spent months deciding on a theme for the month of February. They decided lunch would be the best time to reach students. They wanted to hand out infographics and talk to students about what they have learned in the last few months while working with me once a month after school.

Students tabling at lunch!

tiger pride!

One of my favorite moments is when I got to listen to them explain why this information is so important for students their age and specifically, Black students.

I got to listen to them teach other students about the disparities in teen dating violence for Black youth, especially Black girls. It was beautiful to see how the staff and students all were engaged in our activities for the week.


Tuesday was Wear Orange Day for TDVAM and there were a ton of people wearing orange with us! The Tiger Pride was STRONG!

inspiring future leaders

They got to decide how they wanted to advocate for teen dating violence in their school for the month of February and I could not be more proud of them.

Celebrating this moment with the Youth Network has been a highlight of my year so far, watching them grow in their advocacy and leadership skills really proves just how much our youth can accomplish when given the time, resources and dedication.


By Jala Powell, February 21st, 2024, Domestic Violence Network (DVN)