Thank you to Arlette Salcedo for making the Dell YouthConnect Program come to life at GENaustin!
GENaustin is a Dell YouthConnect recipient. With the help of Dell employees like Arlette, GENaustin trained teams of high-risk and court-ordered girls to film and edit inspirational videos encouraging themselves to reach for their dreams.
“I first got involved with GENaustin when a colleague from Dell let me know that GENaustin needed a video savvy woman who could guide the technical parts of the new GirlConnect workshops. Dell’s Electronic Media & Video department is very small and I’m the only female on the team, so I felt a need to “step up.” Once I researched who GENaustin was and the difference they are making in these young girls lives, it struck a deep personal chord.
My favorite moment volunteering for GENaustin was during a workshop. I was enjoying watching the girls filming and editing. They were letting their guards down with me, and more importantly, with each other.
It was at this moment that one young lady opened up about certain decisions that she’d made that she wasn’t too proud of. She wanted to show everyone in her life that those bad decisions didn’t define her or her future. This significant moment filled me with an enormous amount of recompense that I’d never expected.
There I was, a former, “at-risk youth” and another predicted statistic, making a difference and helping young girls realize that they are the only ones that can define their future and their character. No one can or should be given the right to take that away from them. Fight! Stand up for yourself and prove them wrong! was the message we all walked away with that day.”
Genaustin’s GirlConnect program teaches teams of high-risk/court-ordered girls how to film and edit inspirational video messages that encourage them to reach for their biggest dreams.
GirlConnect is a 6-hour workshop conducted by trained GENaustin and Dell employees utilizing Dell laptops, editing software and flipcams.
GENaustin thanks the many Dell employees who have spent countless hours helping to develop technical curriculum and undergo training to work with the girls who are benefiting from this new and uplifting program.
Ericka Villalobos Barnes