It would be hard to say that SWOP is welcoming Devonta to SWOP as he’s been a youth leader with the organization for more than six years. Devonta first started working with SWOP as a 14 year old freshman at Gage Park High School in the VOYCE program. In this program, he developed his leadership skills and a strong taste for community organizing. At VOYCE, Devonta learned about one to one meetings, building power, and taking action to make changes he cared about. He credits VOYCE for keeping him school and getting him through to graduation.
Devonta built on his interest in organizing after graduation by joining Public Allies and working in Oak Park on community engagement. When he had a chance to do a second year in the program, he pushed himself to work in his own community on issues that were literally close to home. Devonta is using his Public Allies internship this year to run the VOYCE program at Gage Park; the same program that helped him find his passion for community work. His goal is to identify young people and help them build their leadership skills. He is also working with the school administration on increasing enrollment at the school, building stronger bridges between the school and the community, and returning Frarority to the school (a fraternity/sorority Greek life program).
In addition to his Public Allies work at SWOP, Devonta organizes local young people to conduct service projects to help the less fortunate in the community. You can often find them in the SWOP office on the weekends making sandwiches for the homeless or planning other community building activities.
For more information on VOYCE, please contact Devonta at firstname.lastname@example.org.