Organization teaches importance of community service and life skills to young women


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A new organization is setting out with one goal — to better their community. That’s what the Young Progressive Women’s Association is all about. 

The Harrison County group is picking up projects and making events to help others in any way it can.   

“I’m just looking forward to helping any people that come along with this,” said Hannah Burnett, a 12-year-old YPWA member.  

“You just have to be kind to everyone and help out sometimes,” said Maelyn Swisher, a 13-year-old YPWA member. 

A few of the good deeds the young women do include starting a free food pantry and library and helping veterans.

“We just want to prepare them for getting out in the world and hopefully being future leaders of our community,” said YPWA adult adviser, Betty Felts.  

The adult leaders for the group also host workshops for new skills the young women want to learn.  

A group with free little pantry courtesy: Young Progressive Women’s Association Facebook

“This past year we did a self-defense class with them because they all wanted to learn self-defense,” Felts said. “They’re all wanting to get their CPR license, so that’s something we’re looking into, but they pick what they want to do. We’re just here to guide them.”  

The group gained so much popularity that now it’s starting a young progressive men’s association to get them active in the community as well.  

“I think a lot of this generation doesn’t get active,” said Jerry Riffle, a YPMA adult advisor. “They’re not out there. They stay home a lot but, we need to get them out in the community and learning leadership skills and just doing things that give back.”  

The goal of everything the group does is to teach everyone to be progressive.  

“Progressive to our group means that we want to teach these girls to be strong, independent young women that can change the oil in their car if they have to but can also cook dinner if they need to do that, as well,” Felts said. 

The Young Progressive Women’s Association will hold a meeting at the Uptown Event Center in Clarksburg from 6 -7:30 p.m. on August 8 for new members. 

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