Youth Council is a youth empowerment program where youth identify, document and analyze problems in their community that they would like to address through community development projects.
“I met different people and we are actually all good friends now. We still communicate and get along very well and I never thought I would talk to them. It was an awesome experience being able to understand new things. I would do it all over again and this program actually encouraged me to go to college.” - Chris, 16 years old
What makes Youth Speak Collective special is that it does not create programs for youth; it gives youth the opportunity to create programs for themselves. Youth meet once a week for 2 hours afterschool and engage in different empowering activities. Youth act as planners and stakeholders in all programs, and in the process they acquire new competencies and find a positive sense of self-worth, purpose, and identity.
Since 2008 the Youth Council program has been using a Youth Impact Curriculum that was created by YSC youth and staff. The curriculum outlines lessons for a 48 week program and is broken down to six (two-hour) workshops in different human relations subjects accompanied by advocacy projects. The Youth Council program operates on ten middle school and high school campuses in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.