Monday, March 12, 2007

Announcing Ohio Youth Voices and the Youth Agenda

The organization I work for as a consultant, the Ohio Fair Schools Campaign, has an exciting collaboration going with a new group called Ohio Youth Voices. The project brings high school students together to talk about their lives and how their needs translate into policy proposals. For the most part, the high schools organized are rural and urban, providing a compelling mix.

OFSC membership met with some of the kids Saturday. It was inspiring, not because these were spectacular speakers, but because they were regular kids talking frankly and sincerely about the challenges they face in their daily lives. The project started with a Youth Summit from with the kids developed a Youth Agenda. The Summit participants made a video which captures the spirit of the event:

Ohio Fair Schools is hosting a webpage that includes the Youth Agenda and a tool for users to send an e-postcard to Gov. Strickland's staff endorsing the Youth Agenda. Youth Voices also has a MySpace pagewhere, again, users can read the Youth Agenda and network with other interested youth.

Whether or not one agrees with the Youth Agenda, it's exciting to see teens take up the challenge of translating their experiences into policy. While I've never gotten the sense that the Pages draws a big team audience, I encourage anyone who works with the age group or otherwise knows kids who might be interested to steer them in that direction.

For anyone interested in blogging about this, you can find the video posted on YouTube here.


Eric said...

Why wouldn't a youth agenda include fixing school climate--since youth contribute significantly to school climate? Who is helping these kids develop a sense of self-efficacy?