Advocacy Welcomes Empowerment (AWE)

Mission Statement


Advocacy Welcomes Empowerment (AWE) is a newly formed organization whose goal is to spearhead the development of educational, leadership development, civic education, and school-to-work programs for Oneida County youth. 


Some of the programs planned by founders David and Dawn Laguerre include:


  • Utica Kids Code:  A free computer coding training course for school age youth

  • Intergenerational Chess Club: Adults and youth will visit local nursing homes to teach and play chess with residents, offering social companionship and cognitive skill building

  • Civic Education Seminars:  A series of educational programs to inform youth about the workings of government and the importance of exercising the right to vote

  • Micro Lending:  Offering small start-up loans for budding entrepreneurs and hosting competitions to encourage ideas for small businesses

  • Film Festivals & Discussion: Hosting film screenings followed by discussions to cultivate an interest in science, women’s issues, world events, the arts, and contemporary culture


Funding for programs will be secured through private donations, corporate gifts, and foundation grants.