The Youth Allies Organizing Program is comprised of about 10 youth ages 13-19 who are responsible for leading the Youth Action Network, mentoring youth participants in the Leadership Institute, representing the program at community events & in grassroots campaigns, and leading their own community improvement projects.
Every year the most committed and effective youth from the program are selected to serve as Organizers. Project meetings with the Youth Allies participants take place every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the school year. Peer-education workshops are conducted during the school day in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Santa Fe as well as in partnership with afterschool programs. Presentations at conferences, community events, and youth organizations take place throughout the year. Organizers also lead Youth Action Network meetings and serve as mentors and peer role models for Leadership Institute participants throughout the year.The Organizers work for over 450 hours per year and receive intensive training in collaborative work, leadership, organizing, and peer education. The Youth Allies Organizers identify what new projects they want to focus on as well as how to expand and improve upon previous year’s initiatives.
The community projects they design & lead fall under five areas and are based on sustainable community development principles. The areas are: 1) Food and Health, 2) Climate Action, 3) Art and Social Change, 4) Consumption & Waste Reduction, 5) Global Justice. All projects include service-learning days and peer education which together engage an additional 500 youth and community members in sustainability work each year.
Organizers receive public recognition at our graduation ceremony in May plus a Certificate of Completion and Community Service!