15 Jun [VIDEO] Youth in Action
This past year of the Elevating Youth Voice program has been filled with lessons, activities, and experiences that equip youth partners with tools they can use to own their voice in the education and public sector. The students know that talking with SSN staff members Lucy, Alex, Kavya, Brendan, and Sue today is just “practice” for the real challenge: taking these tools back to their programs and schools and leading youth voice.
What have we learned so far?
“If [the students] can see how this is beneficial to them, they’ll take it more seriously,” says Danna, one of our youth partners from Hudson River Community Sailing, as she works with our data team to improve survey administration.
“Some students, they just don’t really care. That’s why you need some adults implementing some of their ideas,” Paul from Community of Unity chimes in. “But also if you don’t put in enough student ideas, then there’s no point, especially if it’s for them.”
“What’s kind of astonishing to me is to sit with three incredibly articulate and helpful students, and to hear them say that this is not a common experience for them.” Sue Lehmann (SSN).
This next year, with the continued engagement of staff, funders, member organizations, and students, we will leverage the power of partnerships between youth and adults to put youth at the forefront of decision making for their organizations. We think it’s time to stop talking about students and start talking with them. “Whether it’s creating a safer space or creating a growth mindset, it should always revolve around students,” explains Ashley, a youth partner from SEO Scholars.