Summit Brings Together Young Leaders and Educators to Energize Movement for Youth-Driven Solutions in Schools

Washington, D.C. PeerForward will convene, and Facebook Education will host, the second annual Youth Activation in Schools summit June 5-6, 2019 to explore and promote ways that youth activators and educators can come together to improve educational outcomes.

Simply put, Youth Activation is when youth, along with peers and school and/or civic partners, create and execute student-designed solutions to pressing challenges they identify in their schools. Students set a shared and measurable goal, and then create and lead initiatives – such as peer-to-peer education, technology innovation or social media utilization, or advocacy campaigns—that mobilize their peers to strengthen their school or community.

“Youth Activation in Schools seeks to invert the dominant paradigm in American education, from seeing students as problems to be solved to being the problem solvers,” explains Keith Frome, Co-Founder, CEO, and Executive Chair of PeerForward. “Youth Activation invites students to travel from self to service, deploying their skills and talents to driving measurable improvement and change in their high schools and colleges. Youth Activation as an educational operating system excites me because, at its core, it is compassion in action.”

Phillip Lyew-Daniels, a member of the student team designing the convening, believes Youth Activation is necessary for more students to take control of their futures. “I want to increase the level of access and opportunities young people, especially young minority students, have within my community,” said Lyew-Daniels, who is a senior at Clemson University, where he started Brother 2 Brother, a mentoring program.

This summit follows the first such gathering a year ago, which brought together Action teams of educators and students from school districts across the country, who left with plans to make youth-led initiatives a priority and work together over the following year to carry out their vision and make measurable progress toward their goals. For example, students at Thurgood Marshall Academy in NYC identified a lack of financial literacy among students at their school. So they organized a number of workshops throughout 2018-19 to inform their classmates about banking, credit, credit cards, etc.

The second annual Youth Activation in Schools summit will support veteran districts practicing Youth Activation and introduce the concept to new districts. A goal of these gatherings is to create a national network of promising, youth-led initiatives in diverse high schools across the country.

The summit will be held June 5-6 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., and immediately precedes America’s Promise “State of Young People” gathering, with some participants of the Youth Activation in Schools summit staying on to contribute to the America’s Promise event.

Those attending the Youth Activation in Schools Summit include: School districts – Broward County (Fla.) Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, District of Columbia Public Schools, Jacksonville-Duvall County Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, Nampa (Idaho) School District, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, New York City Department of Education, Noble Network of Charter Schools, and Stockton Public Schools; Colleges – Broward College and Valencia College; Nonprofits – Achieve Atlanta, BRIDGES, and Oasis Center.

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