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Young Leaders Against Violence accepting applications for new "agents of change"

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Young Leaders Against Violence or YLAV is a youth-led coalition against relationship and sexual violence. YLAV is now accepting applications from high school and college age students in Kent County.
Underwriting support from:

Applications for YLAV are now being accepted

Apply online at For more information on Young Leaders Against Violence, check out the NPO Showcase from GRTV on Wednesday, September 14 here.

Young Leaders Against Violence participants

Young Leaders Against Violence participants /Courtesy of Young Leaders of Violence

Young Leaders Against Violence supporters

Young Leaders Against Violence supporters /Courtesy of Young Leaders of Violence

Young Leaders Against Violence

Young Leaders Against Violence /Courtesy of Young Leaders of Violence

Young Leaders Against Violence or YLAV is a local youth-led coalition focused on increasing awareness and preventing relationship and sexual violence. Being a part of YLAV provides the opportunity for teens and young adults to be leaders and take a stand against violence.

YLAV is a collaboration of several local agencies that provide healthy relationship education in our schools. The collaborators includes mentors from the Kent County Health Department, YWCA West Central Michigan, Family Futures, Safe Haven Ministries and Cherry Health.

YLAV was formed in response to Michigan High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 2015 that shows 26.7 percent of teen girls and 12.7 percent of teen boys experience physical or sexual violence in their relationships¹. The nature of relationship violence can be physical, emotional, sexual and through electronic abuse through technology. Unhealthy relationships can start early and the pattern of abuse often lasts into adulthood.

Relationship violence doesn’t have to happen. YLAV’s goal is to stop the violence before it starts through education. Many teens and young adults are invested in working on social justice and gender equity issues so this makes high school and early college an ideal time to be "agents of change," which is our motto. 

Applications are now being accepted now through October 31, 2016. Students in high school, alternative high school and college freshman can apply online or by emailing us [email protected] and requesting an application.

We also have a Facebook page. To join, students need to be able to attend meetings on the first and third Thursdays of each month during the school year from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the YWCA West Central Michigan which is located at 25 Sheldon Blvd. SE in downtown Grand Rapids. Bus tickets are provided for transportation and we have dinner during meetings.

This is what last year’s team told us were some of their favorite things about YLAV!

• Explore my passions

• Have a voice

• Change my community

• Meet cool people

• Have fun

• Meet community leaders

• Go places and have new experiences

• Looks great on my college application

• Use what I learn at school (and vice versa)

• Build skills I can use like public speaking, persuasive writing and event planning

We hope that you will join this movement and other YLAV members in Kent County to stop the violence. YLAV is funded in part with a Sexual Violence Prevention grant from the Michigan Department.

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