Every Hour Counts, in partnership with Youthprise, launched the Powered by Youth Voice: Future Directions for Afterschool initiative. Powered by Youth Voice centers youth voice and leadership to advance new directions for the afterschool field driven by a national youth survey, local youth planning teams, capacity-building led by Youthprise and Greentrike, and youth convenings.
Prime Time Palm Beach County was honored to be one of six communities to help catalyze community-based planning efforts: After School Matters in Chicago, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint, Kalamazoo Youth Development Network, Nashville After Zone Alliance, Providence After School Alliance, and Prime Time Palm Beach County.
Through design thinking, peer learning and networking, this effort has identified best practices to authentically engage youth in program development and designing the future of afterschool.
As part of the initiative, Prime Time Palm Beach County and eight youth from the Milagro Teen Center in Delray Beach, Florida, attended the Youth Powered Forum in Chicago on December 2-4, 2022, to be a part of a collaborative space for idea-sharing that kept the focus on real recommendations with real financial implications for communities and the ability for afterschool to facilitate healing and be the space that young people imagine.
“I’m so grateful the opportunity to go to Chicago because I know a lot of other kids didn’t get the chance to go. Also, it was very informative and really expanded my mind on a lot of things. I hope I get another opportunity like this.” – Joanna Beaucicaut, Milagro Teen Center, Palm Beach County
Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, kicked off presentations that were done from youth on their ideas to elevate afterschool with hopes to garner funds at the end of the summit to scale their ideas.
“We want to know the best way to engage kids and keep them connected so that you guys can create a world that is better for everyone else.” – Ridgway White
Youth from each community presented their ideas on how to elevate afterschool in their community and then all the youth convened privately to vote on what idea would earn the $100,000 reward to use to scale their idea locally. The youths’ final decision was to divide the pot of money so each idea could begin implementation.
“The level of care and effort that went into arranging the conference, creating space for genuine youth-led conversation and making sure that every little detail was cared for so that each individual could feel comfortable, safe and welcome was outstanding and will be remembered for a long time to come.” – Anton Spalding, Middle School Professional Development Specialist, Prime Time Palm Beach County
“I have been to a conference before but a youth-led conference was definitely something I never had the pleasure of experiencing until now. It was great to see youth voicing their opinion about things that mattered to them. I was glad to be a part of this opportunity and glad to see them get to make new friends and stay friends even after they disagreed. I am excited to see what the future will be like for afterschool programming after this event.” – Blair Williams, Program Coordinator, Milagro Teen Center, Palm Beach County
“The trip was amazing and Chicago was so, so beautiful. I got to communicate and learn so many things from peers in my age range. I got to meet a lot of different people and make bonds that I hope will last a lifetime.” – Antonia Louis-Juste, Milagro Teen Center, Palm Beach County
“The trip was a good experience for me I had so much fun being there with my friends and making new ones. I got to see a different state and competing together there was fun. The trip was great overall, and I would definitely do it again.”- Vanely Veilllard, Milagro Teen Center, Palm Beach County
This initiative is made possible with the support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation thought a grant to Every Hour Counts and Youthprise.