By Diana Zeng
When asked what Beef And A Toast is about, we revealed that this civic engagement program was born out of frustration. Frustration with the fact that as students and twenty-somethings, we’re told that the problems in St. Louis are over there. Or that they aren’t that bad. Or that things are so bad that we should get out as soon as possible.
Mayor Slay's welcome at last night's Beef And A Toast: Be A Young Change-Maker said a lot about this city. St. Louis is a place where you can make a difference. As long as you're willing to listen and learn, you can get close to the issues and to the people leading the change. You can find yourself a part of the change. Frustration during this election cycle, in particular, has been sky high so we wanted to channel that into self-empowerment. With Young Friends of Downtown, we brought together students, recent graduates, and young talent to T-REX from near and far to connect on the topic of change. No matter what our backgrounds or professions may be, we can all find ways to make a difference in our local communities paving the way for change on the national and global scale.
Our panelists exemplified how change and community engagement come in many different forms - through photography and storytelling with Lindy from Humans of St. Louis, through policy and entrepreneurship with Jake from St. Louis Strong, and through advocacy and support with Caroline from OCA, St. Louis. Most of all, everyone in attendance proved something even greater. We recognized that every city has its issues and opportunities to make an impact, and St. Louis is no different. But what sets St. Louis apart is how it welcomes young people to take part in changing its future - and it's a city brimming with the young talent to do just that.
Attendees had the opportunity to follow up with the organizations on the panel and register to vote if they haven't already. If you would like to learn more about the organizations, check out Humans of St. Louis, St. Louis Strong, and OCA, St. Louis.
Get in touch with Full Circle at email@example.com if you would like to get involved or support their initiative in building a more economically vibrant and inclusive city.