GreenLight Boston sat down with Alithea Casimir, Youth Guidance Program and Partnerships Manager, and asked about key learnings, expansion, and how she personally lives out the WOW core values.
What is one key takeaway from the past year?
A key takeaway from the past year is the importance of keeping our young queens (and kings) at the center of our planning. When we think about making an impact, we have to challenge ourselves with knowing the why. The why becomes a big part of what drives each of us at Youth Guidance every day… and when you’re in space with (kings and) queens, you feel it. You know you were once where they are, uncertain and wanting direction. You needed what they need, a trusting adult and consistency. And when they celebrate those wins and successes with their smiles, you feel that too. You feel like royalty yourself because you are part of something so big.
What are your plans for WOW’s expansion?
My plans for WOW’s expansion are to build a Queendom throughout the Northeast region of the country, a network if you will, that empowers our young queens to connect, feel heard, feel seen and gather the right tools to pursue their own goals. Every queen deserves to dream and have a plan for making it come true. Imagine becoming aware of your emotions and truest self. You learn how to manage those emotions so that you build healthier relationships with people who help you set goals and guide you to reach them. Now imagine learning that in middle school and high school. That’s WOW! Alumni are still Working on Womanhood. Staff are still Working on Womanhood. I’m still Working on Womanhood. The comforting part is none of us are isolated.
How do you live out the WOW core values?
I do my best to live out the WOW core values in all parts of my life. With my family as a mom and partner, with my close friends and parents and with my colleagues at work. I try to take perspective on a situation and think critically when I’m trying to solve a problem and I think about what my own accountability in a situation. I welcome feedback even when I fall short. I’m always revisiting the core values that helped me get to my leadership position. It’s how I continue to grow. It’s how I maintain the healthiest version of my relationships. Most importantly, it’s how I set new goals that add more quality to my life and to others around me.