Balkhita Mweru

AYDEPI has really been a highlight of my life. Ever since I joined, I have been exposed to many opportunities that have helped me grow as a person. Such opportunities include leadership services, volunteer services and a lot more. To add on to that, while serving in AYDEPI, I have been surrounded by a lot of good people whom we have worked together to achieve the common goal of AYDEPI. Before joining AYDEPI, I was really introverted, however, that changed a lot after I joined AYDEPI. I was introduced to services that taught me to get out of my comfort zone and be able to speak up.

I have also learned to be self aware of the prevalent issues that affect our community which has increased my passion and dedication to create great impact to the community. To add on to that, I have learned the power of my voice and also other people’s voices. In order to see change that our community needs, we all need to raise our voices in order to be heard. I am really passionate about helping my community and AYDEPI’s mission and values, align together. I am very thankful for everything and I am very excited to see what AYDEPI has in store for me because I am not leaving anytime soon.

Daniel Dias

Daniel Dias, only five years old, has always been involved in most of our volunteer activities. Although our program supports youth between 14 and 25 years, he follows his older siblings to our volunteering events. Majorly in our environmental projects in both King County Parks and Des Moines Parks, he willingly volunteers to plant trees, pull out ivy, and litter collection. He cries to his dad to help him plant the trees because he can’t lift the bucket so that he can keep up with other youth.

Don’t worry; I will be a teenager next year, so I can be a youth leader

Speaking to his parents, Mr. Dias expressed his gratitude that his three kids can be part of AYDEPI and learn a lot from the program. Both parents are from Angola in Africa, although Daniel was born in America. 

Trina Wamunyu

Ms. AYDEPI 2022

When I first came to Aydepi I had no idea what to expect, all I knew at that time was we(me and my siblings) were going volunteering to remove weeds. I didn’t know just how important this organization would be to me, it’s been 3 years since the first activity I had with Aydepi and I have gotten to know so many amazing people who strengthen and support me. I kept going to the park volunteering events where I met my close friends, where we learned about different native plants and environmental activists from all over the world. My love to give back to my community grew every time I went the events.

As I started working at the organization, I learned through our mentorship program how to better communicate and manage myself around other people(both young and old), how to be a leader to others and I got experience in writing proposals which made me a better formal writer. Their after-school program helped me be comfortable and confident with my ideas and voice around the other youths from different backgrounds as mine. And overall, Aydepi connecting me to youths my age helped me learn new skills, make long lasting friendships with people from different cultures and the different opportunities they offer has and will continue to give me a life full of adventure.