Nothing about us, without us – is for us.
Youth In Action gives the space for youth share their stories, practice leadership, and create change in their communities.
At YIA, we understand that those individuals most affected by a problem are in the best position to determine solutions. The problems that often hit youth of color the hardest – such as community violence, food insecurity, and entry into higher education or training – are structural problems with personal implications. Hence, YIA serves as an open and safe space where youth can voice their opinions and experiences, and are given the trust and respect to creatively apply their unique talents within their own lives and their communities. By building power, leadership and action amongst youth in frontline communities, we believe a more equitable and safe world is possible.
The YIA programming model uses learning.
YIA’s focus is on creating opportunities for youth to become their best selves, to address power imbalances that stifle the potential of poor youth and young people of color, and to create more caring and fair public institutions and systems. To accomplish this, youth at YIA engage in four types of learning and their applications: project based learning to practice leadership and critical thinking; service learning to address the urgent and basic needs of our surrounding community; cooperative learning to develop social change toolkits and peer connection; and adventure learning to inspire young people to look beyond their immediate environments.
Our programming is broken into three phases: Core, Immersion, and Collective
Core works with youth to tell their story and deeply listen to others stories. Youth place their multiple identities and communities under the microscope and examine their role and impact in creating a world they want to live. Focused on emotional development and identity in youth leadership.
Immersion explores facilitation and peer education. Focused on social development, youth discover what strengths they bring to a group. Youth design and facilitate workshops on student centered learning and community health for their peers and for adults working with youth. These workshops aim to educate and build mutual respect.
Collective programming celebrates legacy and stewardship through a member owned model. Youth sit on the Board of Directors, assist in fundraising efforts, and begin to create change at the policy level. During this phase youth make meaningful links between passion and career.
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