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Youth Move is “all about the energy”

By ASHLEY RICHARDSON | 6/26/2014, 10:17 a.m.

On Monday, June 23, the National Action Network’s (NAN) Youth Move, founded by Ashley Sharpton, held its weekly “Huddle” at the NAN House of Justice in Harlem. The Huddle is a meeting place for young dreamers of today who aspire to become leaders of tomorrow.

“It’s all about the energy,” said Huddle moderator Patrice Perry as she began rallying the audience. “When I say, ‘Youth Move,’ you say, ‘Huddle!’”

The energetic and fun atmosphere allows the youth to meaningfully interact with tomorrow’s leaders, as well as other community members, parents, mentors and teachers, who are always welcome to attend.

Monday night’s Huddle focused on personal communication skills and self-image, along with this month’s theme of gun violence.

The Huddlers were encouraged to examine their personal lives and address the issues of a broken “emotional clock,” which can be a result of hardships and trauma. As individuals shared their stories, the Huddle encouraged them to remember that emotions are good and should be expressed and managed in healthy ways.

Special guest Miss Guinea USA 2014, Adama Sira Sylla, also encouraged the Huddlers to think positive. She spoke of her experiences in the pageant, attributing her success to passion and determination to help illegal immigrants and reduce human trafficking. Reaching out to the young women of the Huddle in particular, Sylla expressed that being a tall model is not the only definition of beautiful.

To end the night, guest Yvette Heliger invited Huddlers to participate in a short skit about violence. As the youths took on different roles, the play educated the Huddlers about the seriousness and dangers of domestic violence.

The Huddle takes place every Monday evening from 7-9 p.m. at 106 W. 145th St., Harlem. The Huddle is available via live stream weekly on nationalactionnetwork.net. Food and refreshments are provided for Huddle attendees. “Youth Move is on the move as always,” said Perry.