The First YEP Lead Team’s Recommendations to the Community and the
The First Lead Team: In 1998, a few teens were looking around and thinking, ‘Hmmm, how come it’s the same few kids who are invited and who show up at meetings where adults want teen input; how come it's not a very diverse group of kids; and how can I speak for all kids in the community…?’ So, out of their concerns and frustrations, the first Youth Empowerment Project Leadership Team was formed.
Some members of that first Lead Team had been involved in a local youth mapping effort the previous year. This time they wanted to get information from other teens so they decided to conduct focus groups in their high schools to identify the reasons, from kids’ points of view, why more kids weren’t involved in their community doing volunteer work or serving in a decision-making capacity on committees with adults. After they conducted the focus groups and came up with a lot of incredible information, they decided to form a committee with adults who would collaborate with them and hold a Summit where teens and adults could discuss and form Action Teams that, in turn, could address the issues and recommendations they were coming up with from the focus groups.
The result was that the Youth-Adult Partnership Summit (YAPS) united adults and teens in efforts to form Action Teams and initiate policy change based on teen recommendations. At the first summit, in February of 1999, the first YEP Leadership Team formally presented its Recommendations to the Community, a report that resulted from the focus groups they conducted among 15% of their peers in spring of 1998. A professional 15-minute Youth Empowerment Video was also produced about these recommendations. (A video order form will be available soon.) A second YEP video will be produced for the next Summit.