Youth Voices Today is offered virtually & adheres to all virus-related protocols.
It can be easily adapted for other age groups as well.
Youth Voices Today is storytelling in the digital age. Participants use music, audio, and self-captured images, and other multimedia to tell compelling stories about vital personal, cultural, and community issues.
STEAM-BASED IN DESIGN, YOUTH VOICES TODAY’S MISSION IS TO:
- Enrich personal and cultural identity by engaging youth in evocative, issue-based story telling.
- Build self-confidence and leadership skills by empowering youth to inform, inspire, and educate others about issues impacting their lives and their community. As they share their stories, they pave the way for new perspectives and begin to see and believe in greater possibilities.
- Spark creativity and nurture self-expression by using a fun and innovative approach.
- Cultivate critical thinking and communication skills by having participants engage in writing, researching, interviewing, public speaking, digital story crafting, and community engagement building.
- Work with organizational leadership to provide story-sharing outlets to bring people together and stimulate conversation around issues of common concern.
Each Youth Voices Today program is unique because it is customized to meet the specific needs of the participants and their community. Here are a few possible outcomes:
- Audio public service announcements (PSAs)
- Multimedia stories focused on culture and identity
- Multimedia stories showcasing innovative approaches to issues facing a community
- Visual stories with accompanying text describing the story as needed
ADAPTING TO THE NEEDS OF TODAY:
Since Youth Voices Today uses a digital format, it is easily modified to meet the rapidly changing needs of organizations and communities.
During the pandemic, everything is done virtually, by phone, online, or by snail mail. Materials needed can be minimal. It can be as ‘old-school’ as pencil and a paper, or as ‘new-school’ as video apps and audio programs.
If participants don’t have access to a phone, they can write their stories and snail mail them.
The adaptability of the Youth Voices Today allows for multiple formats for participants to share stories that are important to them, including visual artwork.
- I meet via zoom or phone with you and your team. We will discuss your organizational/community needs and plan how to spotlight participants’ stories through a virtual portal (for example, a special page on your website) or other means of public sharing.
- I have an initial meeting with participants individually, or as a group. This can be done via phone, Snapchat, or messenger to connect in the most personal and easy manner.
- Directions and other materials will be sent online or via snail mail.
- I work with participants individually via phone, email, Zoom, Snapchat, messenger, etc. as they craft their story
- In each step, Youth Voices Today adapts.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
- Community engagement is crucial in these isolating times. Public outlets can include online portals like websites that showcase work, virtual community events, radio interviews, newspapers, and social media platforms.
- All conversations with participants and adults are completely confidential. Participants have ownership of their work, and parents or guardians sign releases that give them the right to review any story before it is made public.
- To protect youth participants, I do not feature any of their work on my website. If you would like to see or hear examples, I can provide them to you directly.