Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies

West Chester University

Youth Empowerment
and Urban Studies Program

543 Main Hall, West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Making Real Change

Students enrolled in the minor work with youth in the Philadelphia region. Collaborations and partners include:

Need in Deed

“Imagine...classrooms in which students apply academics to real life problems--asking questions, conducting research, working together. Imagine teachers encouraging students to explore root causes, problem solve, take action...For youth to become engaged in school and community, school has to be more like real life”

“My Voice s the name of [our] framework. It calls on students to use their gifts and to speak out on behalf of others. It encourages active, hands-on learning. It integrates reflection on real world problems (hunger, homelessness, guns in school, abandoned cars) with the curriculum. In short, it is a powerful way for students to learn more about the world while at the same time building their sense of purpose and capability.”

YES students work with Need in Deed in the YES 300 course.

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Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative

“The Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative strengthens, connects, and promotes organizations that engage youth in the creation, analysis, and distribution of media. Our network of youth media educators and producers supports youth in becoming creative media makers, critical thinkers, and engaged global citizens. Together, we work to advance a healthy democracy that values youth perspectives and contributions.” --from the PYMC website

PYMC is interested in collaborating with the program, and some YES students may work with PYMC on additional projects, outside the classroom setting.

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Youth United for Change

“Youth United for Change (YUC) is a youth-led, democratic organization made up of youth of color and working class communities, with the "people" and political power to hold school officials and government accountable to meeting the educational needs of Philadelphia public school students. This is done through a process of school/community-based organizing where a diverse group of youth come together, identify common concerns in their schools/community and act collectively on their own behalf to create strategies for whole school reforms in the Philadelphia Public School System that better meet the needs of youth of color and working class communities. YUC believes that every young person deserves a quality public education that prepares him or her for success at a 4-year university, for a living wage job, and for active participation in civic life.”

Community partners change, and have included: