There is a need to engage young people now more than ever. Youth are important members of our society and have vital contributions to make, but they are regularly excluded from community development, policy-making, and positions of power. Young people aged 25 and under make up 46% of Pittsburgh's population, which means that almost half of our population is being left out. To better understand youth and youth issues, we have to intentionally include them in the decision-making process.
The principle that youth are the primary stakeholders and should be empowered and included from the beginning guides UrbanKind's philosophy of engagement, coordination, and outreach. Young people are in the position to act as agents of positive social change who will stimulate greater economic and social well-being. UrbanKind plans to engage with young people to bring out their true, often-overlooked and dismissed potential.
Youth Green Corps
UrbanKind Institute will host the Youth Green Corps (YGC) this spring through fall. This program will develop a cadre of youth leaders to spearhead community-wide environmental education, outreach, and advocacy, and to implement efforts around environmental issues in the Hilltop communities of Allentown, Arlington, Beltzhoover, Carrick, Knoxville, and Mt. Oliver. Check back this winter for more updates, including on how you or a teenager you know can get involved!
South Hilltop Youth Engagement
Most youth in the south neighborhoods have poor access to quality youth programming. Consequently, much of their productive energy and enthusiasm is without focus. Our goal is to help existing Hilltop organizations improve the quality of programming available to Hilltop youth. Through our partnership with A-POST, we will work closely with six community organizations over the course of 12-15 months helping them to improve and measure their outcomes, to foster organizational collaboration and partnership, and to identify best practices for youth programming and engagement. Our Youth Program Coordinator, TaQuala Donaldson, is responsible for coordinating, supporting, and strengthening existing programs for youth in the Hilltop communities of Allentown, Arlington, Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver (city, and borough), and adjacent areas of Carrick.
Youth Partners Partners
Over the course of seven community-based planning sessions around the Pittsburgh region, UrbanKind Institute facilitated conversations among and between young men, service providers, and others. They discussed needs and gaps in out-of-school programming and attributes of ideal programmatic activities.
In a final report, UrbanKind Institute identifies several major and recurring themes that arose from the discussions, particularly as they relate to programing and activities that achieve My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) intiative goals. Click here to find out the young men's thoughts. Be sure to check back here for next steps in the My Brothers Keepers project.
My Brother's Keeper Initiative