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Five organizations collaborate to launch Youth Voices of the Roanoke Valley

Initiative focuses on amplifying voices of valley's young people

ROANOKE, Va. – Five organizations are joining forces to put on events like Global Youth Service Day to empower the youth in our community.

"So to be able to provide positive activities and positive opportunities for youth and their families. It's to come together to make a difference and to grow. It is really important right now," said Karen Pillis, director of youth development at Family Service of Roanoke Valley.

This collaborative initiative is called Youth Voices of Roanoke Valley which includes Grandin Colab, Family Service of Roanoke, Points of Diversity, United Way of Roanoke and the Roanoke Youth Services Board.

"I hope they understand how important it is to keep the community together," said Makayla Bibby, student at North Cross School.

Organizers of this collaboration are hopeful that youths from all walks of life will participate and share their voice
   
"We want a wide diversity of folks and voices the table and to share there's perspective matter where they come from and what their background is," said Brad Stephens, representative at Colab.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea who spoke at the announcement shared his excitement about the new program.

"Some of the things that they have on their minds to communicate to have open engagement that's so important," said Lea.

The first event is the Youth Summit set for Sept. 9 at William Fleming High School.