Teen Allies For Healthy Relationships
Christ Memorial Lutheran Church – Fitchburg, Wisconsin
- Emerging Leader: Elsa Gumm
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Amount of Grant: $10,000
- Dates of Grant Term: August 2017 – August 2019
Through her work with social justice advocacy mentors, and supported by a church where connecting others to life in Jesus is their passion and mission, Elsa Gumm has developed a strong commitment to seeing and responding to the hurt happening in her community through intimate partner violence. Spurred into action by a tragedy in her own community, Elsa became more involved with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). She is now a Community Response Advocate with DAIS and serves on the Dane County Community Coordinated Response – Faith Issues Subcommittee. In her role as both a volunteer youth group leader and as Staff and LifeServe Coordinator at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, she is now touching the lives of many by educating and empowering the youth in the community to understand what a healthy relationship looks like, what unhealthy and abusive relationships look like, and how to respond when they find themselves in such a relationship or suspect a friend is involved in one.
The mission of Teen Allies for Healthy Relationships (TAHR) is to build safe, healthy communities for all people by equipping teenagers with tools to recognize and respond to abusive relationships among their peers. TAHR is a partnership of youth groups, schools, and social service organizations in the Madison, Wisconsin, area working to empower teenagers to respond appropriately to dating abuse (which affects one in three teens). In doing so, this will cultivate a culture of shared ownership of social problems, transforming the communities these teenage leaders live in, as well as those they adopt in adulthood, into healthy, nurturing environments.