MetroTown Summer Camp is an intensive, six-day residential camp for high school students, held on the campus of St. Thomas University in late July. The residential program brings 50 youth from across Miami Dade County together for a week of exercises, activities, and simulations that stimulate dialogue around areas of diversity. By the end of the week, delegates break down barriers, overcome challenges, gain new understandings, and, most importantly, form lasting friendships.
MetroTown provides youth with the tools to identify prejudice and recognize their own privileges, rights, and responsibilities. Delegates learn appropriate and effective methods of discussing difficult topics, such as differences of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation, socio-economic status, and other social identifiers. In addition, we train young leaders to become advocates for change and take responsibility for building just, inclusive communities in their schools and neighborhoods.
This life-changing program gives young men and women the ability to speak about social issues that divide their communities and cause them pain. Youth who participate in MetroTown report that they feel empowered, that they can be themselves for the first time, and that they realize they are not alone. These young adults leave MetroTown with a vision of a path forward, feeling hopeful about change.
Here is what one of MetroTown 2015 delegates did as a result of her participation. It is the living embodiment of our Mission – that our delegates become change agents themselves, taking the dialogue to their peers and the greater community. We are extremely proud of Anna Patricios for putting on The Rainbow Connection benefitting LGBTQ Youth Homelessness. The sold-out event raised more than $4,000 for Project SAFE (Safe Accommodation For Everyone) — a collaboration between Pridelines and The Alliance for LGBTQ Youth —and Camillus House. Read more about Anna’s effort here.