More than 100 teen girls from Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County school districts gathered on April 22 at 6 p.m. for a virtual community conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the area’s youth.
Crittenton Services of Greater Washington (CSGW) hosted students and community members for the nonprofit’s annual High Tea. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was virtual and the conversation centered on empowering young women through the effects of COVID-19.
Siobhan Davenport, president and CEO of CSGW, was one of the adults who participated in the High Tea. Davenport told the AFRO that COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges that students of Crittenton already face.
“We as an organization have many conversations on how the inequity in healthcare, and housing and in education have risen to the top because of the pandemic,” Davenport said.
According to a CSGW news release, a February needs assessment showed that out of nearly 400 students surveyed, 63 percent of the students feel more stressed than usual and 43 percent are worried about their futures.
The event included a main session that was hosted by NBC reporter Juliana Valencia and featured appearances by the Mayor of Somerset, Md., Jeffrey Slavin, and Crittenton Honoree Catherine Leggett.
After the main session, the teen girl participants were placed into several small groups or breakout rooms where they had an open dialogue with one another surrounding the pre-chosen theme: “My Voice Matters.”