Youth Action was organized at the Catholic University of America in 2003 by then-youth from the Philadelphia who attended the Tavis Smiley Foundation’s Youth to Leaders National Summit in Washington, DC. At this conference, Youth Action was one of four student groups that formed project teams to address community issues of concerns and has since significantly expanded.
We want all secondary schools to design and implement programs that provide students with opportunities to apply what they learn so they can better serve their communities. Improved civic engagement among youth in Philadelphia will address our democratic shortfalls of lack of equality and help solve major issues plaguing our world.
We envision a generation of civic-minded leaders who organize impactful community service programs throughout their professional lives, while inspiring the next generation of students to follow in thier footsteps. We envision a generation of civic-minded leaders who organize impactful community service programs throughout their professional lives, while inspiring the next generation of students to follow in their footsteps.
Youth Action empowers middle and high school students in Philadelphia to become changemakers by educating them on societal issues, teaching them ways to create social change, and connecting them with opportunities and resources in their communities to act on issues of their concern. Focused on building socially responsible young leaders in Philadelphia, Youth Action provides leadership training, mentorship, and funding to help young people organize student-led community service initiatives.
To combat alarming national statistics that highlight low service rates among youth ages 13-22, Youth Action runs three core service programs for middle and high school students in Greater Philadelphia. Our Junior Youth Action (JYA), Inspiring Leaders (ILP), and Service Leader (SLP) programs provide students with mentorship, training, and resources to lead and serve Philadelphia. These structured programs are all student-led and have been effective in increasing student volunteerism, activism, and leadership in the Philadelphia community. In a recent service year, over 70 students who participated in accumulated over 1,700 service hours in Philadelphia. Youth Action students combat social problems plaguing Philadelphia’s communities such as crime, homelessness, hunger, and teen pregnancy.
The key to our work is cultivating young leaders through community service. Statistical reports find that community service not only impacts communities served, but also helps students with:
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Oral and written Communication
- Organizing Projects and Meetings
- Develop their Passions and Interests by allowing them to engage in real world work
- Meeting like-minded peers and professional mentors
The above skill-sets are essential to building great citizens who contribute to our world.