The field of youth media has exploded into a vibrant platform for self-expression and empowerment, a call for community action and social justice, an avenue for building technical and job skills, leadership and literacy.
Board members review various youth media program models and identify those that work.
The Village for Families and Children pilot program trains youth in the use of video, web, and print media conducted in partnership with High Impact Quality (High IQ) Media Productions. The pilot builds upon the plans and ideas that emerged from a city-wide Youth Forum of over 70 Hartford youth ages 8-18 which resulted in consensus by the young people in attendance to continue working together and find ways to make their voices heard in issues that directly affect their lives. The theory of change behind this initiative is that if youth are allowed to have their own voice and opinion, they will make improvements in their skills and behaviors. The young people engaged in the Village pilot worked on media products that were agreed upon at the Forum and developed strategies for communicating with other Forum participants not directly engaged in the Pilot. The media products are a youth-produced newsletter, a basic web site, and the production of a television show based on the Forum for broadcast on local Cable Access Television.
The Raoul Wallenberg Children’s Foundation International will continue to support the development of a unique pilot model for providing media production training first to Hartford youth in partnership with community agencies and programs that serve youth at risk for school failure and drop-out. Based on the successful pilot program, it will be replicated and expanded in Connecticut, nationally and internationally. Youth media is highly motivational because young people tend to love working in creative ways with new technologies. Students learn while enjoying themselves and cooperative learning is developed as part of a production crew. Leadership skills are taught with each participant responsible for overseeing his or her area of the production. Media production also promotes internal control with students taking the videos’ story and camera into their own hands. Youth media also tends to improve self-esteem by providing young people with a recognized medium for broadcasting their views and ideas
Youth Rights Media (YRM) is a New Haven, CT-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth to know, protect and advance their rights. YRM builds youth power and leadership by teaching media production and community organizing, equipping young people with tools, skills, and strategies for affecting change within themselves and their communities.
In a society where media is monopolized and driven by profit, youth are given the skills and education to take action and create their own media- Media and digital arts are as a tool for self-expression, empowerment, and social change, where the youth are centered in the production and educational process. Youth Media Institute in Seattle is an organization that strives to empower youth to become powerful leaders and artists by using media technologies to transform images about their communities, cultures, and themselves.