This post was originally published to the Best Starts for Kids blog. Best Starts for Kids is a King County initiative that strengthens families and communities so that babies are born healthy, children thrive and establish a strong foundation for life, and young people grow into happy, healthy adults. Public Health — Seattle & King County helps implement Best Starts for Kids.
Over the coming weeks, we are sharing beautiful and bold artwork and stories from young Black leaders across King County with the Best Starts community. In our first blog post, we shared a poem by Nikai Mackie, a Young-Women Empowered (Y-WE) scholar. Today, we are thankful to share a piece by Rahel Ambachew. Rahel wrote and shared her story with Soar during her time as a Voter Engagement Ambassador in 2020. Soar’s partnership with Best Starts spans multiple Pre-natal – Five strategies; the Voter Engagement Program is funded through Opportunity Youth United – Seattle.
Rahel’s words reflect the energy, passion, and wisdom that young people bring to our civic process. Her story carries the resilient and ardent spirit of past generations and highlights the ongoing barriers that youth face while striving for full, fair participation in our democracy.
Through Soar, Rahel and other young Voter Engagement Ambassadors elevate community voice to ensure that King County children, youth, and families are actively engaged in policies and decisions that impact their lives. Past and ongoing policies enacted in King County, like the rest of the nation, have largely harmed communities of color. By helping individuals and communities stay informed and register for upcoming local elections, the Voter Engagement Ambassadors strive to increase voter turnout and decrease the barriers that prevent community members from participating.
We move forward by grounding our partnerships in racial equity and passing the mic to our youth. Echoing Nipsey Hussle’s words, Rahel says “the marathon continues.”
Originally published on March 16, 2021.