Did you know that 3 of every 4 young people are left out of youth participation opportunities? This leaves a majority of our youth, especially from underserved, low-income, and BIPOC communities, missing out on critical opportunities to develop skills and connect with the community on a deeper level.
Youth Service America (YSA) 50by250 campaign is designed to mobilize the field to craft and share capacity-building strategies that will reduce barriers and increase youth access to participation in volunteering and service, voting and civic engagement, and joining and leadership. Through engagement with critical community partners, we can enhance current efforts, and work to create new opportunities for all youth.
Volunteering & Service
- 22% of young people ages 15-24 volunteer, and 22% donate to charitable causes.
- 26% of students say they often work on projects with real-world applications in school.
Voting & Civic Engagement
- 23% of eligible first-time voters (18-19 year-olds), and 28% of 18-29 year-olds voted in 2018.
- 23% of students rate proficient on a national civics exam, and 29% are encouraged to get involved.
Joining & Leadership
- 23% of families have a child enrolled in an afterschool program, and 33% have a child in a summer learning program.
- 32% of youth are a part of more than one community group.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS?
3 out of 4 young people do NOT participate in service. Many of these young people are from historically excluded communities including:
- Young people of color
- Youth from low-income families
- Youth who are not usually asked to serve including:
- Those with disabilities
- Who are homeless
- In foster care
- In the justice system
- English Language Learners
- Immigrants and refugees
- From military families
- Other marginalized groups
WHY IS YOUTH PARTICIPATION IMPORTANT?
We know that many of these young people face educational inequity and are more likely to be disconnected from others and their community, impacting everyone around us.
Youth participation strengthens our youth and our community by:
- Providing the framework to build 21st Century and Social-Emotional skills necessary for college, career, and a thriving future
- Connecting young people to the community and providing an avenue for innovative solutions to local and global challenges
- Establishing early access to create a foundation for lifelong civic engagement that strengthens democracy
Become a 50by250 Partner TODAY!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
As a Lead Organizer, Cobb Collaborative is looking for community partners across all sectors to commit to reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for youth participation. Check out the information below on how to get involved!
- K-12 Schools and School Systems
- Colleges, Universities, and Higher Education Systems
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Youth Development Organizations
- Local and State Government
- International groups in support of youth participation globally
- Businesses and Corporations
- Faith-Based Communities
- Civic Capacity/Infrastructure Organization
- Afterschool/Out-of-School Groups/Organizations
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
By signing the Declaration of Participation, you are committing to a promise to our youth and to our community.
Together, we will work towards creating attainable goals that help your organization increase youth civic participation. Cobb Collaborative will aid as a supportive agent to help with data collection, program design, and reporting along every step of the way.
YSA has an abundance of capacity-building resources and toolkits, including a new Youth Participation Clearinghouse. You will also gain access to the YSA network to collaborate with other partners across the country.
Use the form below to contact our Program Coordinator, Kaitlyn Ball, for more information on 50by250.