FILE UNDER: Impact, Prevention

We are often reminded that there is almost nothing more powerful than a teenager ignited by empathy. This summer, we got to experience that yet again with a teenager named Areen.

In August, iEmpathize’s Education Director provided a workshop on empathy and exploitation prevention to 13 students visiting the United States from Iraq. These students were participants in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) sponsored by the U.S. State Department and hosted in part by World Denver, which hosts programs for international guests, including youth leadership programs.

Each of these 13 bright Iraqi students participated eagerly, asking questions, sharing ideas and personal experiences, and making connections to their own communities. Shortly afterward, Areen sent iEmpathize a message:

All of us were very very inspired by your workshop and personally, it’s the one I took the most benefit from. Because your workshop helped me so much personally, I decided to do a similar workshop on Empathy in my city to youth my age.”


She asked for access to our workshop presentation tools so that she could share the experience with her own community in Iraq.

Areen spread her empathy to 25 youth back home in Iraq. After leading her own workshop, she wrote, “I cannot thank you enough for being so helpful! The workshop turned out great and I got a lot of amazing feedback from all the participants and they all said that they learned a lot about Empathy and some even said that this is their first time actually learning about Empathy.  I told them about you and iEmpathize as well. Thank you very much for helping me do this.”

Who knows where all this empathy will lead next? One thing you can be sure of: it will lead to empowered youth helping others and accomplishing anything they put their minds to here in the U.S., and around the world.