Quakerism: Past, Present and Future – Building Community through the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference

Feb 13, 2024

Five Upper School students attended the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference (QYLC), held in Philadelphia January 25-27: Maddie Calixto ’25, Noah Frizell ’25, Ted Tarter 25, Aodhan DiPalma ’27 and Ayden Katsikis ’27. They were accompanied by Chester Reagan Chair for Quaker and Religious Studies Dan Zemaitis and Science Department Chair Jen Mosher. QYLC is an opportunity for students from Quaker schools to come together, explore Quaker themes, and build community. This year’s theme was “Quakerism: Past, Present and Future.”  This year’s QYLC included over 140 participants from Quaker schools from as far south as North Carolina to as far north as Ontario, Canada.

The conference included a variety of sessions including those on peace and social justice, as well as environmental sustainability. Participants engaged in a first day of introductions, tours, and a speaker. Day two was centered around community connections: participants were tasked with exploring different neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and observed an alumni panel. Day three encompassed student-led workshops before reconvening for a final Meeting for Worship. 

The group also visited the Weitzman Museum of Jewish American history and took a behind-the-scenes tour at WHYY to learn more about community engagement. “Students grew in their personal understanding of Quakerism and Quaker education, built bonds with other students from Quaker schools, and deepened their engagement with the wider community,” said Dan Zemaitis. 

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