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The Wellspring Host Civic Engagement Institute for Youth

The Wellspring

Regional High School Students Present Ideas for Change to Community Leaders

Monroe, La. – The Wellspring hosted a two-day Civic Engagement Institute for Youth Monday, February 6 from 4 - 7 p.m. and Tuesday, February 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Technology Center at Louisiana Delta Community College.

The Civic Engagement Institute for Youth is designed to engage students in the democratic process and teach best practices of civic engagement. High school sophomores and juniors from Ouachita Parish High School, West Monroe High School and Wossman High School were organized into teams to research topics of local and national concern. Each team used the information they collected to create a proposal for change. On day two, the teams presented their proposals to local community leaders.

“It was so inspiring to hear the students’ presentations and their ideas for ways to impact these social issues,” said The Wellspring’s Youth Empowerment Program Coordinator Jennifer Graves. “They offered concrete solutions that could be implemented on a local and national level. It is my goal that they feel empowered to follow through with their ideas and any others they have in the future and to realize they have the power to promote change.”

The goal of Civic Engagement Institute for Youth is to mobilize students by providing them with an idea of how important citizens are in that role and tools to help make their voices heard. Through Civic Engagement Institute, students learned how to identify issues like bullying, drug abuse, depression and anxiety, and healthy and unhealthy relationships. The students learned how to design innovative solutions to these problems.

About The Wellspring
The Wellspring is an umbrella organization that focuses on strengthening the lives of individuals and families throughout Northeast Louisiana with programs that include mentoring for children; counseling, therapy and supervised visitation services; residential and non-residential services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; and an array of homeless and Veterans’ programs and services. Learn more at


Fredrick Louis is a native of Monroe, Louisiana and has worked in and around Northeast Louisiana for more than 40 years. He graduated from Wossman High School and then went on to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics. Following that, he attended Grambling State University where he received his M.A.T. He loves the city of Monroe and is always looking for a way to serve in the community. That love for community has led him to a 10-year career in teaching. He has worked in both the Monroe City and Ouachita Parish school systems. He was also a candidate for mayor in 2020 and has used that experience to show his students that you can do anything you want and that the only failure is not trying.