Convention and Youth Summit

Increase and build eligible student voters-Teach the importance of voting-Increase youth civic participation.
Youth Connection Charter School has led the charge in youth political involvement with its civic engagement initiative.  Knowing how public policy works improves citizens’ ability to effectively address community issues. Public policy analyses connect students to government and politics, while facilitating self-empowerment. In years past, participating students have addressed complex issues, such as mass incarceration, voter suppression, immigration, violence and policing.  Through this program, YCCS campus student cohorts have been ignited across the city to activate the power of their collective voice. The Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) 2019 Civic Engagement Initiative:  Democracy & Voting for Change, provides a non-threatening, safe environment for students to expand their points of view and career options by researching issues, exploring viable solutions, taking action and making demands to demonstrably impact their lives and make their communities a better place to live.

The Civic Engagement Project (CEP) is a call to action for youth who have been disconnected from school and the educational process. The CEP prescribes to Transformational Learning strategies, including historical research, analysis of current events, challenging discussions and disorienting experiences. Additionally, through purposeful reflection, students learn to use their voice to cultivate academic self-efficacy and motivational autonomy for learning.

Project Goals and Objectives

The goals of the Civic Engagement Project are to provide select students opportunities to develop an awareness of and engagement in social and political issues that affect them and their communities, to increase civic participation; and to acquire political advocacy, and organizing experience using the 2019 Chicago elections as a theme.  In so doing, students will connect their community issues to policy.

Project Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify issues that impact their lives and their communities
  • Choose an issue and develop a nuanced historical, political, and social understanding of the issue
  • Propose policy demands to address the chosen issue and to impact community life
  • Use a variety of social media to communicate/inform different audiences about their issue
  • Develop/engage in actions to impact their issue
  • Submit a portfolio of individual student artifacts that demonstrates an understanding of the issue
Project Topics Issues

Environmental Justice · Gentrification/Affordable Housing · Policing/Public Safety · Voting Rights · Mental Health