Local Student Champions Well-Being by Leading Broward Youth Coalition
Seventeen-year-old Jaleyna Lawes is a busy senior at Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines. In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society and several school associations, she served last year as county-wide President of the Broward Youth Coalition (BYC), United Way of Broward County Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention’s youth leadership program.
Jaleyna first became involved with BYC six years ago in middle school, following in her older sister’s footsteps. Since that time, she has been a passionate leader in BYC, not only learning about the importance of mental health awareness and substance use prevention, but also sharing her knowledge with her peers on the local and national levels. She made presentations at and was instrumental in the implementation of BYC’s MLK Day Youth United Summit (January 2020 and 2021), Alternative Spring Break (March 2021), and BYC’s two-day summer Youth Leadership Institute (2020 and 2021). While maintaining her A average at school, she attended nearly every BYC Zoom meeting last school year and participated in two social media campaigns for Red Ribbon Week and Above the Influence. She volunteered without hesitation to participate in the virtual United Way of Florida Capitol Day, joining adult leaders to interact with elected officials. She has also presented BYC’s activities to the Board of Governors of the Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention. Finally, Jaleyna participated in two national conferences, at which she received critical skills training for effecting positive community change and gave a presentation to high-ranking public health leaders on health equity.
After graduating high school, Jaleyna hopes to study the history of medicine and public health, with a desire to professionally work to address disparities in public health through social entrepreneurship.
Through BYC, Jaleyna has seen the value of the work done by United Way of Broward County and says, “They always listen to community needs and provide the services that are needed.”
We thank Jaleyna for her outstanding service to our community and look forward to seeing her very bright future.
Click here to learn how you can get involved with the Broward Youth Coalition.