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Hi, my name is Kailes and I am from Washington, DC, but I was born in Grenada. I graduated High School in 2021 and will be attending North Carolina A&T State University majoring in Electrical Engineering. Since I was young, I have always been active in something STEM (Science, Technology, and Math). I had a fixation with LEGO’s and was always trying to take things apart. When I was 9, my father presented to me my first engineering kit with a hundred of different activities to complete. Every completed activity deepened my love for engineering.
In school, I pushed myself to be the best that I could be and graduated with a 4.14 GPA. I joined the National Society of Black Engineers Junior (NSBE Jr) where I met people who have changed my life forever.  In 2019, we placed second in our VEX robotics championship and the following year, we became region champions and qualified for VEX Worlds.
In my Junior, I joined an organization called STEM for the Streets where we volunteered to teach minority elementary students about STEM fields. The goal was to teach them that they could become more than their community. I can honestly say that I enjoyed being a part of this group because of the skills that it taught me. I enjoyed watching these kids grow and ask questions as they beamed with excitement. This is something that will always stick with me, that I was able to make a difference in someone's life.

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Youth On The Rise: Who We Are
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Hi, my name is Arsema. I’m currently a rising high school junior in Washington D.C. The last year has been extremely difficult for a lot of students around the world. So, In hopes of getting to meet and interact with others even virtually seemed extremely rewarding. Throughout these past few weeks, I have been able to interact and meet with students from Chicago, my home state of D.C, and all the way to Algeria with experimental digital and working with permission LLC in their MBSYEP program. These programs have invoked my interest in pursuing work in the marketing and communications field, and my passion for activism. I have also been able to create valuable experiences, memories, and important connections.

Youth On The Rise: Who We Are
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Hi, my name is Joshua. I am a rising Junior. I currently have no solid plans for college, but I have a few paths I’m considering. One of them is becoming a pastry chef, but I probably won’t go to culinary school, instead just going to a normal college and apprenticing as a chef somewhere. I also may join an ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) at a chosen college if the opportunity presents itself and I believe it is a good path, enlisting after college.
I currently am enrolled in JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) at my school, where I am an active and very dedicated member, achieving a high rank and level of leadership. I also am very interested in science, especially chemistry and physics, as well as English. I have ADHD which makes focusing a challenge, but it also has beneficial side effects, one of which I believe to be my interest in (honestly way too many) hobbies, but one hobby has been around for most of my life, baking and cooking. This experience and love of baking is what makes me think that baking is my life’s calling, and I see it as the most likely path I will pursue. I learned about and joined PerMission LLC’s Risers Network through MBSYEP, a summer program that supplies jobs to youths in DC, and that summer was, by far, one of, if not the most enjoyable summers I’ve had."

Youth On The Rise: Who We Are
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Hi, my name is Colin Ian Jesse Billett, or “Ian” as known by my family and friends. I graduated from Takoma Academy High School in Maryland in 2021. My plans are to attend North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC in the fall majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I’ve been interested in engineering for as long as I can remember. As a young kid, I would go to the DC Car Show with my dad. It always amazed me to see these cars that were the best of the best would be improved upon each year. The Pixar movie “Cars” also influenced me a lot. That’s when I fell in love with corvettes.

In school, I was an active member of National Society of Black Engineers, Jr. In 2019, we went to the annual conference in Detroit, Michigan and entered the Ten80 student NASCAR Racing Challenge where we won first place. With my classes and membership in this program, I graduated with a STEM diploma.

In 2018, I had the pleasure of going to Tshwae, South Africa with my choir where we performed in the World Choir Games, which is like the Olympics of youth choirs from around the world singing all types of music. We also did a mission trip to a youth center in Diep Sloot taking them toiletries, shoes, books, and clothing that we brought with us from home, and singing with them.

I learned about PerMission LLC’s Risers Network while participating in a male youth program. I am interested in social issues and politics and became a volunteer, assisting with several virtual conferences.

Youth On The Rise: Who We Are


Hi, my name is Robyn Hurst. I am in the 11th grade and was born and raised in Tampa, Fl. I like to think of myself as an activist in the making. I have devoted hundreds of hours to uplifting my community through groups like Trinity Cafe, Teen Court, or the Centre For Girls. I have participated in the Junior NAACP and I was recently selected to be apart of the Mayors Youth Corps. I believe that everyone, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation deserves to be treated equally in all aspects of life. I joined Hear Our Voices during the uproar surrounding the death of George Floyd because I wanted a platform to speak on racial injustice. It’s so important to hear the opinions of the youth because often times we aren’t allowed or encouraged to participate in the conversation. Hear Our Voices provides a safe space for those conversations to be held.

Youth On The Rise: Who We Are
Youth On The Rise: Pro Gallery
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