YOUTH-CENTERED COMMUNITY PROTOTYPES
Kidzamerica has worked with several Youth-Centered Community prototypes in diverse Chicago metro communities: Chicago: Englewood; Suburban: Riverdale (South Suburban), Belvidere (Far Northwest Suburban); as well as St. Joseph County, Michigan. See more details under Youth-Centered Community Forums.
It was anticipated that the following outcomes were to be achieved and documented:
Kidzamerica customizes the process with each community, addressing the whole child's needs (intellectual, physical, social/emotional, and spiritual).
- Increased youth capacity as resources, leaders, decision-makers, and role models for other youth
- Increased students who are more effective learners with improved discipline and safety
- Youth and adult-generated solutions to education system and community issues
- Creation of Youth Council and other student teams with adult advisors
- Evidence of community-wide commitment to student success
- A sustainable and replicable youth development and empowerment model
What Makes the YC2 Process Sustainable?
- The unique strengths, values and vision of each community are used to build an inclusive and comprehensive plan for systemic reform, thus fostering commitment to sustainability.
- Involving both youth and adults in meaningful roles, a process of co-design within the community allows for ownership, thus building specific plans for sustainability. Youth-centered partnerships are coordinated and integrated with existing community organizations, creating long-term positive change.
- Ongoing training results in continuous community improvements and refinement of the model for replicability.
- National and local recognition is fostered through a strategic media plan and partnerships with national and international organizations.
- The role of youth expands to that of youth mentors and future leaders in an ever-expanding community.