Youth Leadership for College Access
CARA’s vision of youth leadership lies at the intersection of youth development and youth organizing. Youth Leaders need to develop the skills that are the target of good youth development programs: listening, critical thinking, planning, public speaking, meeting facilitation, working as a team, self-advocacy and perseverance. CARA’s youth leadership programming takes this work one step farther by empowering young people to use these skills not only to improve their own educational and social outcomes, but as a strategy to make college access possible for a wider circle of students and to increase youth voice and authority within their schools.
CARA works with schools and community-based organizations to integrate youth leadership into their college access programming. It does this by training high school students to support their peers through the college exploration, college application, and financial aid processes and by helping schools and CBOs to develop the structures needed for Youth Leaders to do their work. It also trains college students to support graduating seniors to follow matriculate into college. CARA’s Youth Leader Trainings are done in partnership with Goddard Riverside’s Options Institute, an organization that provides training to college counselors throughout New York City.
CARA’s Youth Leadership for College Access Programs:
- Student Success Centers: Youth-led college access centers on multi-school campuses
- Bridge to College: A program that trains alumni of participating high schools to support graduates between high school graduation and college enrollment
- Youth Leadership for College in Transfer Schools: Transfer schools and YABCs that integrate youth leadership into college access programming through the Learn-to-Work program
- Youth Leadership Integration at Single School and CBO-Level: Support to individual schools and CBOs that integrate youth leadership into existing programming