The Youth Voice Summit from a Youth Perspective

Read below about our March 6th Elevate Youth Voice Summit, from our Youth intern Omar!

At the Youth Voice Summit, the room was filled with 80+ people, from 13+ organizations, who came to listen to youth and their ideas, which was incredible. We started the evening off with testimonials from people who have been impacted by the Elevating Youth Voice program. This panel provided some context for the type of work we do and what the possible results of effective youth-adult collaboration can lead to.

 

Following these informative testimonials, we all participated in a youth-adult collaboration activity, where members from different organizations came together, allowing for different perspectives in ranking different examples of organizations based on given scenarios. Groups were expected to rank the organizations from youth-led to adult-led and understand that both of these terms can be pretty subjective, especially when it comes to ranking them!

Finally, it was time for what we were all waiting for– listening to the amazing ideas the youth had! Adult partners and one guest org were the audience, as youth took the spotlight and presented to their table! Major themes from the presentations were access to college trips, exposure to certain career fields, or spreading knowledge about certain topics connected to post-secondary. Youth suggested workshops, panels, and even student-ran mentoring programs to their adult partners.Circling the room and listening to the amazing conversations between motivated youth and supportive adults was proof that the Youth Voice Summit was successful. What spaces allows for youth to interact and break down issues at their organization along with their adult partners, just like the night of the Youth Voice Summit?

 

 

 

 

This question leads into the next steps. After the Youth Voice Summit, it is important that adult partners begin to implement youth in all decision-making in organizations, whether it be in or outside of the Elevating Youth Voice program. Every single adult in that room at the Summit has a career that requires dedication to youth and making sure their organizations are providing the support they need. If youth are not involved in these important decisions that directly impact them, are you really there for the youth?

Sooah Rho
sooah@ssn-nyc.org

Sooah is passionate about the power of young people to change their communities. She focuses on identifying ways SSN can continue to grow and cultivate an inclusive network that elevates the most important voices in education: practitioner and youth. Prior to joining SSN, Sooah was a high school English teacher in Oakland, CA where she was awarded Teacher of the Year by Oakland Unified Charter Schools 2016.

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