Established in 1994, Young Women’s Project was started by young women as an organization that works for under-resourced women and girls, and teens of color.
YWP has three main programs: Foster Care Campaign, Peer Health and Sexuality Education and Teen Women in Action.
Under the foster care campaign, YWP supports young women in the system, helping them voice their concerns about the foster care system.
“We collect data, we write legislation, we do research. We’re interested in power and money and making sure youth have more of it,” said Nadia Moritz, YWP’s executive director.
“A lot of contractors are making millions of dollars but the youth remain living in poverty,” she said. “The system is expensive but delivering poor service. That’s what we focus on—how can we get some of that money and resources directly to the youth so they can get educated, prepared for jobs.“
The 15 to 30 young people employed by YWP typically work six hours a week during the school year and 25 to 30 hours a week during the summer. YWP trains young people as advocates.
“They have to understand the political system, how money moves. Who makes decision and how to influence the decision makers in order to make sure for better program,” Nadia said. YWP has trained at least 800 teen leaders, provided sex education to more than 300 girls, employed more than 200 teens as staff members, helped write and pass Group Home Regulations, and passed sexual harassment policies for D.C. Public School students.