Tagged “Student Voice”

At this Global Academy Each Student Has a Voice

Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago, Illinois

At Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), each student has a voice and is given the space to contribute and lead. For example, one 3rd grader put together a successful campaign to provide a healthier drink alternative in the cafeteria, which involved collecting signatures, designing flow charts, and building a team team to research drink alternatives. In one 4th grade class, after their exchange class in India asked how the AGC building was heated, students did a three day-long research adventure to discover it. According to the AGC staff, the key is saying  “yes” to students’ suggestions, encouraging their questions, and urging them to discover the full answer on their own. AGC was recently recognized as a ChangeMaker School by whole child partner Ashoka.

 

 

Strong Policy and Community Collaboration Speak Volumes

Grand Forks, N.Dak.

A four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Grand Forks, N.Dak., strives to evoke positive action through strong policies and community collaboration.

Practices like the Grand Forks Youth Commission, composed of students from middle and high schools who express their voice about community issues; the PASS and Interventions programs, which use innovative approaches to assist in responding to student challenges; and the Grand Forks Helping Hands Summer Camp, which helps young people understand the importance of volunteerism as they provide opportunities for a wide range of children, are all positive change agents that will continue to promote leadership and service among all generations.

Leadership Models Endorse Positive Youth Engagement

Manchester, N.H.

Two-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People designation, Manchester, N.H., stresses youth leadership through all of its practices and is known nationally for its work in the design, development, and implementation of leadership models.

Whether it is the City of Manchester, through the Departments of Planning, Health, Youth Services, or the Manchester School District, positive and engaging programs are budding around the community:

  • The Weed-n-Seed Initiative has led to the development of programs to reduce the number of youth in juvenile justice and improve youth health.
  • The City Year Young Heroes is a service-learning program that serves as a platform for middle-grades students to understand important social issues while giving them the chance to positively influence their communities.

Young people in Manchester are working alongside adults to fully support the academic, social, and physical needs of everyone in their community.

Midwestern Culture Cultivates Rich Opportunities for Youth

Omaha, Neb.

Incorporating student voice, engagement, and overall well-being into the community are top priorities in Omaha, Neb. Nestled in an environment with strong Midwestern values, the city has a deep understanding and focus on creating a collaborative pathway to achievement so that its youth can succeed.

Interactive leadership programs, like Youth Leadership Omaha and the City of Omaha's Mayor's Youth Commission, have allowed students to examine their community in full and participate in addressing community needs to promote long-term wellness. A dedication to the growth of youth is also evident in volunteering, receiving mentoring services, and gaining preparation for post-secondary education that are easily accessible through local nonprofit organizations, like Building Bright Futures and the Midlands Mentoring Partnership.

Omaha, Neb., is a first-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Family-Oriented Community Excels in Helping Youth Learn, Serve, and Grow

Butler County, Mo.

Family-oriented Butler County, Mo., has been putting forth an inspiring amount of effort into providing a multitude of opportunities for youth. "Learning, serving, and growing" characterizes the focus of this two-time winner of the whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Between community theater productions, spelling bees, and civic athletics, youth are involved in educational opportunities across a spectrum of subjects. A driving force in Butler County is the Community Resource Council, where more than 300 individuals and 100 local agencies participate in community action committees that promote healthy children and families.

Youth are even involved in developing local policies—almost every youth-serving program asks for youth participants to assess the community's role in meeting their needs and the programmatic effects through an annual survey.

From Health to Career Exploration, Youth Involvement Is Priority

Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.

Four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Mankato-North Mankato, Minn., understands that investing in the development of long-lasting partnerships that cater to youth well-being is crucial.

A variety of programs, like the Mankato Area Healthy Youth (MAHY), Envision 2020, and Greater Mankato Growth, strive to keep youth involvement a top priority. MAHY encourages kids to stay healthy, while Envision 2020 motivates youth and their families to participate in the planning process of a 10-year community priorities plan. Greater Mankato Growth furthers youth engagement by aligning classroom learning with career exploration, allowing students access to internships and job shadowing.

Putting Youth Dialogue Front and Center

Barnstable County, Mass.

Barnstable County, Mass., a four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, has set the stage for youth dialogue in its community.

A variety of innovative partnerships have helped promote this dialogue, thanks to the Barnstable County Council for Children, Youth, and Families. These include

  • The Cape and Islands Youth Congress, a diverse group of high school students who encourage their peers to step up to challenges and be positive agents of change.
  • The Cape Youth Force, which enables youth participants to become involved in the grant-making process.
  • The Cape and Islands Gay-Straight Youth Alliance, a youth-led group that networks with fellow youth organizations across Cape Cod.

Barnstable County is definitely doing its part in promoting the value of youth engagement.

Inspiring Practices Serve As Models For Other Communities

Meridian, Idaho

Committed to sustaining a safe and caring community that enables youth to feel a sense of connection and acceptance, the unique city of Meridian, Idaho, is a wonderful place to be. This three-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition caters to its youth through various programs, including Merdian's Promise, the Mayor's Youth Advisory Commission, and the Youth Scholarship Program.

A specific example of success among these initiatives is the Mayor's Anti-Drug Coalition. Comprising parents, teens, and other community members, the group uses innovative methods to encourage the community to rally as one in the hopes of overcoming drug use. Meridian's practices serve as mechanisms in bringing the community together through youth empowerment, and it's clear that it will continue to be a model to other Idaho communities looking to shine.

A Center For Youth Empowerment

Bradenton/Manatee County, Fla.

Four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Bradenton/Manatee County in Florida exemplifies youth empowerment. Residents, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses place huge importance on intergenerational partnerships, enabling students to gain a strong sense of unity and volunteerism through numerous opportunities.

Twelve thousand youth participate in service programs annually, contributing more than 1.6 million hours to serving their community. Civic engagement programs, like The ManaTEEN Club and Helping Others Lead, Learn, and Achieve, serve as platforms for youth to truly exhibit leadership skills, including offering service opportunities for youth as young as 5.

Youth Well-Being Serves as Priority

Norwalk, Conn.

Youth truly serve as the ultimate priority in Norwalk, Connecticut. With a slew of educational resources and varied youth services that range from recreational leagues to financial literacy workshops to after-school programs, one third of Norwalk's adults volunteer their time to work with youth to ensure that they have all the opportunities necessary to nurture their academic and nonacademic potential.

Programs like the Center for Youth Leadership have received many awards for activism in the community and social change. Norwalk's commitment to providing for its youth speaks to why the community is recognized as one of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People.

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