Field Dispatches: Voices in Action: National Youth Summit
Resource type: News
Elev8 and the Alliance for Educational Justice | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]
On 26 February 2011 at Howard University in Washington DC, over 350 youth from across the country convened at the “Voices in Action: National Youth Summit” to help the United States’ Department of Education shape its strategies to achieve President Obama’s goal of having the United States lead the world in college completion by 2020.
Atlantic grantees, Elev8 and the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ), sent over 50 student delegates combined to participate in the summit and meet with legislators.
In their own words below, these students shared their experiences from the summit via blogs, videos and photos.
>> Slideshow by the Alliance for Educational Justice
High school student leaders from the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ), a national youth-led coalition of youth organising groups working for educational justice, convened a briefing to share their education policy recommendations with Congressional leaders and staff. Photos courtesy of AEJ.
>> Video from the Opening of the National Youth Summit Opening
This video, shown at the opening of the National Youth Summit, presents highlights of the Department of Education’s youth listening tour conducted in 9 cities across the country preceding the summit.
>> Blogs and Videos by Elev8 Middle School Students
Elev8 is an initiative that brings together schools, nonprofits, philanthropy, parents and members of the community to ensure that students have the resources they need to succeed in school and in life.
Photos captured during the National Youth Summit by the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ), a national youth-led coalition of organising groups working for educational justice, an Atlantic grantee.
Additional shots include moments from an AEJ sponsored Hill Briefing that was attended by 15 different legislative offices. They also held key meetings with education advocates such as the Advancement Project and youth visited their local legislative offices.
For more information:
On February 26, 2011, the Department of Education hosted a national youth summit to empower students and listen to what they had to say about education. This video was a recap of the youth listening tour that visited 9 cities across the country preceding the summit.
The event was organized by Community Outreach Director Alberto Retana.
Richlyn Whittaker an 8th grade scholar at Perspectives Middle Academy Reflects on what he learned during the trip to Washington DC.
I learned a great deal about our country on my trip to Washington. I was inspired on this trip and believe that if people come together they can make a change in the world. I have learned that Auburn Gresham isn’t the only neighborhood with problems, many neighborhoods in the United States have issues regarding schools and families. By meeting such incredible people from across the country, I hope to contribute to making the world a better place.
I believe that we all need to contribute because a good future should be offered to all , but we must learn how to prepare for it. I think that every one is responsible for this endeavor.
A reflection written by Sandra, a student from Marquette Elementary:
Today we went to a Youth Summit at Howard University. The cause was Barack Obama’s 2020 vision for the US to have the #1 graduation rate for high schoolers. It was long but I enjoyed it a lot. There was music, poetry, and art. My experience there was so great. We went into different breakout groups and I found good information on college. One was the Pell Grant, which is when the government gives you $5,550 for every year you attend college, you must complete something called FAFSA. We got a tour of the Howard University campus. Today is my last day here for this trip, but I hope it’s not the last day I ever come!
A huge highlight was seeing our own Richlyn from Perspectives Middle Academy represent Elev8 Chicago and middle school age students on the Youth Policy Panel. The panel was moderated by Alberto Retana, Director of Community Outreach for the US Department of Education:
During one part of the summit, students worked in groups by the area of the US they live in, brainstormed an issue for that region, as well as some solutions. Joshua from Ames Middle School volunteered to represent his group and share their ideas on stage: