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The INGYouth program trains and certifies young American Muslims as speakers to supplement education about Islam and Muslims through informal conversations and student-run presentations, giving students the tools needed to prevent or respond to bullying and equipping Muslim youth to deal with today’s difficult political landscape. It also imparts important skills in public speaking and synthesizing information and connects participants with their peers across doing similar work across the country, thus fostering an increased sense of belonging and community.
Initiated in 2016, INGYouth has trained over 250 Muslim teens and their parents nationwide in bullying prevention and school participation, and 85 Muslim teens in eight states have been trained and certified as speakers in their schools. So far, 18 certified youth speakers have given 34 presentations to audiences of about 5,000 people in various schools around the country.
After a youth workshop:
- The most recent evaluation results show 98% of audiences rating the panel they attended as “excellent” (62%) or “good” (36%), with only 2% rating it “fair” and 0% “poor.”
- The number of students who stated they would alert a superior or a friend if they were bullied rose by 82%, while the number who stated they would ignore the incident dropped by 60%.
- The number of students who stated they would report bullying against them to an Islamic organization rose by 100%, while those who said they would alert a parent rose by 55%.
- The number of students who viewed education as one of the ways to promote a more positive view ofIslam and Muslims at school rose by 45%.
- Increased understanding of, and often surprise at, all that different religious traditions have in common, especially in the values they encourage
Students reported, using a scale of 1 to 5, a 19% increase in their knowledge and comfort level answering difficult questions about Islam and a 22% increase in confidence in their ability to give a classroom presentation about Islam if asked to do so.