Here at ACYI, we have been intently focused on supporting authentic youth engagement and ensuring that youth are at the center of our work.
We clearly understand that a “customer-minded” approach that focuses on the “customer” themselves influencing and participating in the process, is critical to helping improve outcomes. After all, they are the experts of their own experiences and likely have a better idea of their needs, rather than someone on the outside.
For ACYI, focusing on youth as the center of our work is especially important, as they are arguably most directly impacted by the efforts undertaken by our Partnership. And as the most impacted, it makes sense to have young people authentically engaged as part of the changemaking process.
How do we do this? Working to ensure the authentic engagement of youth is a complex endeavor, and we are constantly evaluating and reflecting on the ways we keep youth in mind as we continue our journey to impact cradle to career outcomes.
Please read below as Ashley Edinger, our Partnership Coordinator shares more insight about our efforts.
Take it away Ashley….
Until next time,
Adams County Youth Initiative
GUEST BLOG: Ashley Edinger, ACYI Partnership Coordinator
As the Adams County Youth Initiative began to transform into the organization it is today, it made sure that one major area of focus would be youth engagement. After all, in working to ensure that youth are successful from cradle to career, it made sense to engage the youth who are moving through the cradle to career pipeline to help them inform our efforts.
With support from the Denver Foundation’s Nonprofit Internship Program, ACYI brought me in to help develop a plan for getting youth to the decision making table.
My role has taken three major forms in the month or so that I’ve been here. First was the emergence of the Youth Engagement Task Force. The responsibility of the task force is to develop and implement an action plan to bring youth to the decision making table in the Partnership’s cradle to career efforts. The task force is comprised of representatives from Brighton Youth Commission, Commerce City Youth Commission, Adams County Government, Tri County Health, and Front Range Community College Student Government. Recently, the task force met to create create action steps and measurable outcomes to inform an action plan to bring youth to the table.
Hello Ashley! Have you reached out to youth in Adams 12 that are from Title I and “Title 1 like” schools such as Northglenn High, Thornton High, Northglenn Middle and International School at Thornton Middle? They could give you some unique insight on their experiences within these schools. If I may suggest, you should reach out to Phil Gover ( Indian Education Youth Advocate) through Adams 12 Federal Programs and Dr. Rachel Heidi ( Principal at Westlake Middle) . They are both working with quite a leadership group within Westlake Middle that helped remove the tile and mural from the school that depicted a very negative image of Native Americans. This might be a very good connection.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Parent Engagement Coordinator