about Youth In Action
For almost ten years, the Providence nonprofit Youth In Action has captured the attention and passion of young people hungry to create positive individual, community, and social change. It is a partnership among youth, adults, and the community—with youth at the helm.
The youth participate in leadership training and then lead and manage YIA’s community outreach and educational programs. Two youth co-coordinators lead each team, hiring, supervising, and training their teenage staff. YIA youth write grants, meet with city and state officials, and raise funds to support their work. They mentor younger students in academics, pressing them to aim for college. Youth make up the majority of YIA’s board of directors, which includes ten youth and five adults.
YIA and a handful of other Providence organizations committed to youth empowerment recently formed the Youth 4 Change Alliance (Y4C) to shake up the city’s entrenched resistance to involving youth in policy and organizing. Taking each organization’s insights about supporting youth leadership, Y4C will bring them to the community at large. It will press campaigns for change concerning issues youth deeply care about, including the public transportation crisis in Rhode Island. Y4C’s members include: Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Providence Public School Department’s District Wide Student Government (DWSG), Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), Young Voices, and Youth In Action.
about The Media Team
There are currently nine of us on Youth In Action’s Media Team. We are high school students in Providence that believe in the power of youth voice and the power of media to promote change. We started our work in September 2008 and this is our first project. In the months to come, we will create and share more media that informs the community—on important issues like immigration, education, and gentrification.
Current team members include: Susana Anderson, Darren Canonico , Marlie Chatelain , Isabel Del La Cruz, Sheila Dufesne , Trey Goncalves, Monay McNeil , Monephia Nembhard, Covith Sen.
What Kids Can Do, Inc. (WKCD) is an international nonprofit with headquarters in Providence. WKCD works with youth world wide to bring their voices, ideas, and stories to the public stage. Its website, www.whatkidscando.org, offers a huge collection of feature stories about youth and their adult partners engaged in “powerful learning with public purpose.” Its nonprofit publishing arm, Next Generation Press, produces books with youth as co-authors, on topics from advice to new teachers entering urban classrooms to mentors that matter in the lives of teens. Many of WKCD’s projects, like this collaboration with Youth In Action, involve supporting youth as media makers.