Bellevue Youth Link Celebrates Unity, Diversity on a Virtual Stage
Over the past several decades, Bellevue has grown from a quiet suburban community into a dynamic, international and multicultural city. Today, nearly 100 languages are spoken by students in the Bellevue School District, according to the City of Bellevue.
The adoption of Bellevue’s Diversity Advantage Plan in 2014 fueled the City of Bellevue's efforts to grow as a culturally competent organization. Youth Link, a youth leadership and community service program, is one of those efforts sponsored by the City. The organization plays an important role in engaging young people ages 11-18 in Bellevue with over 70 youth-led projects and events.
This year, Youth Link will celebrate Bellevue’s diverse community on a virtual stage. Their annual Unity Through Diversity event will be held on March 4 via Zoom, featuring cultural dances, spoken word and other forms of artistic expression.
Patrick Alina, coordinator at Youth Link, says this event will showcase the unique differences in our community and highlight important youth work.
“This event is made by youths for youths,” he said. “We’re celebrating their amazing talents and what they’ve done for the community.”
Since 1990, Youth Link has given young people in Bellevue a voice and the opportunity to create change. Their annual diversity event began in November 2016 and has since evolved to meet the needs of the community. Last year, Youth Link focused the event around social justice issues. While topics change, Unity Through Diversity has always been an event for community information and diversity celebration.
Throughout the years, Alina has seen Bellevue's diversity grow.
“In 2019, roughly 39% of the community was foreign-born and 43% of the Bellevue population spoke a language other than English at home," Alina said. "We’re becoming more culturally diverse. Bellevue will always welcome the world.”
Interested in getting involved with Youth Link? Visit their website for more information, and attend their biennial Youth Involvement Conference alongside hundreds of students, educators, community providers, public officials, and business leaders. Email Patrick Alina for more information.
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