Youth Innovations to Look Out for

Since the fall, the Elevating Youth Voice program has been mobilizing students to create change in their own programs. After long sessions of adult-youth partnership, collaboration, and innovation, youth partners have come up with events to meet the needs of students in their program. Keep reading for the results of their hard work!


Future Chats

Tuesday, April 16 at the Boathouse, Pier 66

Youth partner(s): Lorenzo Cao; Adult partner(s): Alexe Taylor

Lorenzo identified a key issue with Hudson River Community Sailing: maintaining interest in the program throughout the year. To help, Lorenzo and HRCS came up with a plan to have speakers with interesting careers to visit HRCS’ students to engage them.

Family Involvement Workshop

Wednesday, April 24 at the Options Center, 352 W110th St

Youth partner(s): Sabrina Deliso, Heidy Percil; Adult partner(s): Stephanie Nunez, LaKisha Williams, Sabrina Ally, Monica Ortiz, Amy Kirschenbaum

With the goal to increase the involvement of family members in the college application process, youth partners Sabrina and Heidy are creating a workshop for Goddard students and their families. The workshop aims to explain the benefits of Goddard’s program to parents and guardians and help them understand the process of college application that their child will go through.

Social Hour: Real Talk

Thursday, April 25 at 55 Exchange Place

Youth partner(s): Fatou Diokhane, Jiralmi Lugo, and Omar Hassan; Adult partner(s): Stephanie Lott

Students often lose engagement or motivation to continue with the SEO program because of overwhelming workload and lack of support from friends and family. So SEO Scholars and youth partners Fatou, Jiralmi, and Omar are creating a social networking event to help students realize the resources available to them, such as peer mentoring.

L.O.V.E Attending College Open House

Friday, April 26 at the International High School for Health Sciences, Rm 43248-01 90th St, Queens, NY 11373

Youth partner(s): Rozouana Prome, Kaniz Eva; Adult partner(s): Angelique Beluso

LOVE students Rizouana and Kaniz asked students at LOVE Mentoring, and found out that students are interested in information about college, but aren’t provided with enough support. They created a plan to bring LOVE students to colleges and feel the college environment for themselves. After their second planned college trip (to Harvard), LOVE and its youth partners are hosting an event for reflecting on their trips.

OneGoal Family Involvement

Friday, April 26 at the Bronx Lighthouse Academy, 1005 Intervale Ave, The Bronx, NY 10459

Youth partner(s): Amya Edwards, Iretiogo Akinde;  Adult partner(s): Valerie Hennessy, Rochelle Sinclair

OneGoal scholars feel OneGoal could be better at encouraging family involvement. That’s why youth partners Amya and Iretiogo want to hold an event during Family Open Door Night to showcase students’ hard work and include parents in their journeys.

Jumpstart to Freedom

Tuesday, April 30 at 25 Broadway, Fl 12, NY 10004

Youth partner(s): Shamya Smith, Joshua Reid, and Elaine Mena; Adult partner(s): Edrick Johnson, Amelia Thompson, Shenequa (Dawn) Olatokun

Youth partners Shamya, Joshua, Kun, and Elaine discovered many of their fellow students don’t feel like they’ve explored their passions and future careers. They’re hosting a lunch with alumni in at least 4 different career paths to help students discover their interest in different careers.


College Readiness

Monday, May 6 at 123 William St, the BTNY office

Youth partner(s): Samia Afrin, Kimberly Hussey, Ezria Joe; Adult partner(s): Carina Cruz

Breakthrough NY students don’t feel prepared for the college application process. By utilizing the BT Buddies, Breakthrough NY will hold an event to discuss a new program for high school youth that pairs new students with upperclassmen mentors.

Changing the Game

Monday, May 6 11:45am at the school art room

Youth partner(s): Alancer Fortunato, Ayana McGlone; Adult partner(s): Marisa Zullin, Susan Donovan

Community of Unity and youth partners Alancer and Yani will hold a resume-building workshop for students who are starting the college application and college building processes, as well as take time to begin planning out a college visit for CoU. Alancer and Yani hope that students will leave the session feeling confident in their resumes and about the college process.

College Applications & STEM Career Workshops

Monday, May 6 at 55 Broadway, Fl 16

Youth partner(s): Brenda Encarnacion, Ismael Salceo; Adult partner(s): Maggie Muldoon

Brenda and Ismael, youth partners with MOUSE, identified that application support and guidance was lacking at MOUSE. To change that, they want to host an event to inform other students opportunities in STEM careers and feel confident in pursuing STEM careers.

Mentor Matching at Union Settlement

Wednesday, May 8 at 204 East 109th St, auditorium

Youth partner(s): Afiya Burns, Egypt Moore; Adult partner(s): Jennifer Paige, Barbara Watkins-Samuels

Youth partners Afiya and Egypt want students in Union Settlement’s programs to feel more comfortable with reaching out to Union Settlement when needed. They took the initiative to survey their peers for what they’d like most for Union Settlement to provide, and the answer was: a mentoring program.

HEAF’s Post-Secondary Steps

Monday, May 27 at 12-3pm at 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, New York, NY 10027, Fl 10, rooms 1, 2, 3

Youth partner(s): Danell Francis, Brondon Bain, Pharrell Williams; Adult partner(s): Krystal Bostick

Youth partners Danell, Brondon, and Pharrell realized students don’t feel reason to come and participate in HEAF’s programming. Students feel like HEAF is not an essential part of their academic life anymore. By holding an alumni day where alumni can speak about how HEAF supported them in their aspirations, they hope students will remain engaged with HEAF.


Arts in Post Secondary

Saturday, June 22 at location TBA

Youth partner(s): Shaena Gibson, Daniel Patrick; Adult partner(s): Christina Gonzalez

EPIC Theatre Ensemble and youth partners Shaena and Daniel will be holding an alumni workshop class. This event, with alumni guests from their program, will give current students the chance to gain firsthand insight about the process of applying to colleges for the arts.

Related Posts:

Sooah Rho

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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