PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield Y.O.U. (Youth Organization for Unity) hosted its first annual fund-raising mixer this past Thursday on Aug.15 at It's a Wrap Cafe on 631 Park Ave. in Plainfield.

The purpose of the mixer was to acquire donors who would support the efforts and propositions of the organization. The entire program was run by college and high school students, and consisted of a light dinner, donor presentation, raffle tickets, mini art auction, and induction ceremony for new Y.O.U. members.

The presentation focused on providing the audience with an explanation of the organization. The speakers consisted of a mix of founders and recruits: Soniah Herman, Isaac Wilkins, Chavon James, Iziah Thompson, and Schuyler Davis.

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Plainfield Y.O.U. is a youth organization focused on empowering young people. Itsmission is to “provide a foundation for youth by strengthening their pride and respect in their community, by fostering an outlet for youth to express themselves, to feel heard, respected and understood by each other and members of the community.” The group's three pillars are peace, prosperity, and unity.

Among those who attended the mixer was Plainfield NAACP President Peter Briggs.

He said, “This event is outstanding...[I] see the future of Plainfield [and a] group that can really change Plainfield.”

Clifford Holmes, an adviser of the New Horizon's College Club in Plainfield, felt that the non-profit would do “something that will grow in the future” and that the organization “shows a need for the young people to unite.”

Soniah Herman, one of the founding members of Plainfield Y.O.U. stated some of the challenges of running a growing organization.

“We are completely run by youth, so when the members graduate and move on to college, it is hard to keep solidifying a core group each year,” Herman said.

She also stated how being a part of the organization changed her as a person.

“I can literally do anything I set my mind to, and persistence is key. When we started [Plainfield Y.O.U.], we just dreamed of things and it seemed so far-fetched, but most of those goals have now been surpassed and we are dreaming bigger. We stayed persistent when we only had seventy students [during the youth summit] when we were expecting three hundred, and in two years we've more then doubled that goal.”

This event was based around the Y.O.U. saying that "change begins with you". And as a result of such a successful event the organzation raised over $1000 dollars that will go towards projects, initatives, and events for the youth and the community for the 2013-2014 year. 

Plainfield Y.O.U. members meet at the Home First house on 905 Watchung Ave. in Plainfield every Tuesday and Thursday. New members are always welcome.