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Youth gathering offers support to Latina organizer in Des MoinesPodcast

In this 9-minute interview, Melissa Pacheco of Des Moines describes her experience at a recent AFSC Youth Gathering at the Highlander Center outside Knoxville, Tennessee.

She says she learned that it's not just her community that faces challenging issues and that she appreciated the chance to learn about other issues, strategies and resources. It's not easy to attract very busy students to the work, and there are "so many stories to tell." Young people need role models who can help them move beyond language and cultural barriers.

"I wasn't there with strangers," Melissa says. "It was like a hug from a big group of people that I needed."

For more information about immigrant youth organizing in Central Iowa, please contact Claudia Thrane at

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