Some of the key program features include:
Academic Success; College and Career Exploration
YPP staff use common goals from Peer Leaders to customize college tours, target unique guest speakers and mentors, and build specific lessons such as job and college readiness. YPP staff also focus on the current academic needs of Peer Leaders by communicating with parents, teachers, and school administrators to track attendance, grades, and behavior. Peer Leaders have regular one-on-one meetings with YPP staff to ensure success in school and are provided with necessary supports.
Youth Voices & Digital Storytelling
CSR’s Director of Marketing & Communications leads a 12-week curriculum with Peer Leaders, teaching journalistic, communications, interviewing, and technology skills. These skills assist young people to be vocal leaders in the community, build their digital presence through social media – including LinkedIn, and capture, produce, and broadcast meaningful, community-driven stories. Digital storytelling skills are central to Peer Leader’s year-long and culminating projects:
- “The No Box Project” (2021) disruptions the notion that we all fit into a “box” and encourages young people to be bold and creative. Peer Leaders produce short videos that showcase and amplify their voice.
- The “30 in 30” project (2021) captures the voice of Peer Leaders and state leaders on themes related to YPP’s 5 pillars. Peer Leaders interview members of law enforcement, State Representatives, lawyers, medical professionals, and family members to tell their story. Each Peer Leader produces 30-second videos which are combined to create a short film.
Youth Dialogues & Community Forums
YPP staff, volunteers from the Suffolk County District Attorney office, and professors from Northeastern University Institute on Race and Justice instruct Peer Leaders about the law, their rights, and their role in the community. Young people use this knowledge to host “Roundtables,” youth-led conversations with youth in the community and law enforcement, about community issues and current events.