In 2017 UYWF Founder Mandi Clay began regular meetings with a group of students and PACE Academy in Tampa, FL. These meetings began with a focus on public speaking but quickly became more. The students were hungry for information and discussions on real world issues like discrimination, mental health, and civil rights. By the end of the semester the group was using their public speaking exercises to spark conversations about these important issues and it gave the students a safe place to talk about hard topics. It also inspired Mandi to reach out to other schools in the area and lead group discussions with students of all ages.
The workshops offered by UYWF come in all shapes and sizes. Even if you can only spare an hour per semester, even if the meeting has to be virtual, even if you don't have 100% participation, UYWF will provide a meaningful experience for your students. The workshops can not only foster important discussions within the class, but can improve students' self esteem, communication skills, and self-awareness.