+ ++ Spotlight Nonprofit: Empowering youth with a "for youth, by youth" philosophy | Latina Lista

Spotlight Nonprofit: Empowering youth with a “for youth, by youth” philosophy

Spotlight Nonprofit: Empowering youth with a “for youth, by youth” philosophy

LatinaLista — Young people of Pacoima, California are among the most impoverished in the state. The poverty that exists in the Northeast San Fernando Valley doesn't give these kids too much hope for a promising future — and that was all the impetus needed for David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman to do something about it.

The two founded in 2005 the organization Youth Speak! Collective. They knew they wanted to do something but they also knew it had to be something that the kids wanted to do for it to be successful. And so began a non profit that focused on creating programs that the kids had a voice in developing.

Youth Speak was founded to address the high drop out rates and community-wide disempowerment… Through a menu of programs and initiatives, teens build their academic skills, computer literacy, teamwork, conflict resolution skills, creative expression, and personal development.

With such programs as: the Career Internship program; 9th Grade Academy summer program; the four-month 24/7 Fatherhood program that teaches fathers and expectant dads a host of skills from parenting to work readiness; the For the Record News to teach creative writing and graphic design; the Mural Design program that teaches basic art and street design concepts and the list goes on.

In 2010, Youth Speak! Collective served more than 3,200 in ten different programs. Ninety-five percent of Youth Speak seniors complete their high school requirements and graduate with their class and both students and families contributed more than 2,000 hours of community service through the organizations community programs.

Youth Speak Collective is a youth-driven organization founded on the idea that all young people can succeed if provided with the right opportunities. We follow a “for youth, by youth” philosophy in which young people are empowered to help design and implement our programs.

[youtube 3ThkC8z3Fzc]

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


More in Nonprofit


Nonprofit Spotlight: URBAN TxT turns at-risk boys into tomorrow’s community and technology leaders

Latina ListaJune 28, 2013
Crosses erected by the workers of the Moore Public Schools maintenance department are pictured at the Plaza Towers elementary school, in Moore, Okla., Friday, May 24, 2013. They were built in memory of the seven children who died during the Moore tornado. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Spotlight Nonprofit: Oklahoma legislators and businesses band together to create special fund to build storm shelters at state’s schools

Latina ListaMay 31, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Latina teens get a new ‘circle’ of friends who help make their college dreams a reality

Marisa TreviñoMay 17, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: One Latina’s mission to make victims of domestic violence realize ‘milagros’ do happen in life

Latina ListaMay 10, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Allowing budding artists to earn as they learn

Marisa TreviñoApril 26, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving homeless children more than a place to call home

Marisa TreviñoApril 5, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Sack suppers keep low-income children from going hungry

Marisa TreviñoMarch 29, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Water nonprofits work to quench a global thirst for safe water

Marisa TreviñoMarch 22, 2013

Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving at-risk newborns a warm start to life

Marisa TreviñoMarch 15, 2013