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Youth Empowered is cultivating young minds through unconventional educational opportunities.

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The Youth Empowered to Explore program meets the mission of cultivating young minds through unconventional learning opportunities by taking youth on transformational journeys, following the Underground Railroad and the Civil and Human Rights Trails by land and water (hiking and sailing). As we travel outside of the urban core, to blue and green spaces, teaching history, science, technology, engineering and math, youth build the brains, body, and character to become strong communal leaders. In addition, youth increase survival skills, as they participate in nontraditional recreational activities. When our youth develop intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically, they learn to thrive. 

In the summer of 2021, Youth Empowered traveled to Chicago, and launched out on their first sailing excursion into Lake Michigan from the Jackson Park Yacht Club, which has the highest number of African American members in the nation. We also learned the Black history of men and women on the water.  

In summer 2022, we traveled to Maryland, sailing from the shores of the Patapsco River, which connects the Baltimore Inner Harbor and the historic Chesapeake Bay. Our youth were mentored by the men and women of the Universal Sailing Club, including African American captains, who share culture and camaraderie. Our youth also explored the Underground Railroad in Dorchester County, MD and toured the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

During the summer of 2023, we returned to the Jackson Park Yacht Club to enjoy sailing, maritime, and historical education including a conversation with the late Captain Bill Pinkney at the Chicago Maritime Museum, touring the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center, and having a collegiate experience while residing at the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

Applications for the 2024 trip will open in the spring.

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Founder and Executive Director

My name is Charity Hurst. I know that some of you know me, but for those who don’t, allow me to introduce myself. I’m an avid nature lover. There’s nothing like connecting with Creator in the great outdoors. So, you’ll likely find me hiking, bicycling, camping, birdwatching, sailing, or chasing waterfalls every chance I get. I’m also a total bookworm. 

All that said, and I spend most of the time loving on my three beautiful children. We are #roadschoolers and #worldschoolers. I’m teaching their adventurous souls how to be concerned be global citizens.

Professionally speaking, I’m the Executive Director of Youth Empowered, Inc., where we are cultivating young minds through unconventional learning opportunities. 

I continue to champion social justice efforts for underserved youth by building and introducing structural pathways that bridge gaps and unlock doors. I have served in the higher education space as a student advocate. As an active committee member, board member, and mentor, I am also a community change-maker with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

I’m so glad that I have an opportunity to serve your youth. I’d love to hear what you’re doing? What are your passions? How are you changing the world around you? Let’s connect soon.

Connect with Charity!

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Youth Empowered, Inc. is a registered Indiana nonprofit. By giving towards this cause, you will help future leaders to reach new horizons in life. Click the link below to donate today!

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