The purpose of the youth committee is to raise awareness and empathy within our High School and College students.  It is our strong belief that this awareness will help our youth become better global problem solvers in the future as we focus on what we have in common with the impacted families rather than our differences. 

Youth Committee

Our Project Turquoise Youth Committee started almost three years ago. Shortly after we set up Project Turquoise, we wanted to bring our children together, discuss the plight of Syrian children around the world and talk to them about their role as global citizens in the face of such humanitarian crisis. So, on a cool Sunday in September 2016, we met in our backyard – on blankets – and talked. We had about 10-12 students ranging from lower school to college. Our Youth Committee committed to making a difference was born that day! Our students are driven by their curiosity to learn more, to inform others, to raise funds and improve the lives of displaced people all over the world.

Our PT Youth Committee, led by Marjan Ehsassi and Susan Soltany, has turned into a remarkable group of committed and thoughtful young leaders representing a variety of schools around the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia area including (2018 list of schools):

  1. Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
  2. Cooper Middle School
  3. Holton Arms School
  4. Landon School
  5. Maret School
  6. McLean High School
  7. National Cathedral School
  8. Potomac School
  9. Sidwell Friends School
  10. St Albans School
  11. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School
  12. Walt Whitman High School

After three years, we have a network of Alums who have graduated and are now college students representing schools such as Davidson, Brown, University of Maryland, Tulane, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Project Turquoise Youth Committee meets once a month. Building on our PT Mission which is committed to raising awareness and supporting the short-term and long-term needs of displaced families locally and abroad, our Youth Committee raises awareness in our community by holding events to discuss the effects of these conflicts on communities within the US and abroad. We raise funds to help affected communities and organize service trips to deliver services, make long lasting connections, share learning and exchange cultures.

Here are some examples of our events throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018:
  • Raised and purchased $15,000 worth of sports equipment and school materials for the remedial school at Camp Za’atari;
  • Purchased $12,000 worth of shoes to distribute to remedial schools across Camp Za’atari and Camp Azraq;
  • Developed peer-to-peer projects for teens to engage with their Syrian counterparts in Relief International’s Social Innovation Labs (SILs)
  • Coordinated and managed 2 movie screenings at Busboys & Poets;
  • Annual bake sales, caramel apple sales and pizza sales at 16 area-wide schools marking Human Rights Day
  • Managed letter writing campaigns at 16 area-wide schools
  • Designed and sold three distinct Project Turquoise T-shirt Campaigns in their communities
  • Held two annual 5K runs to raise funds for kids’ shoes in the camps in 2018 & in 2019 for an Education Fund for Refugee Children
  • Held Restaurant Night fundraisers throughout the school year
  • Supported Lavender Harvest sale by harvesting and selling lavender from a local donor
  • Held Social Innovation Challenges and peer-to-peer Skype Calls with Camp Zaatari students