The Youth Project in New York City aims to build the capacity of inner-city kids to advocate for themselves and their communities. We build on participant’s confidence, creativity, and self-expression skills through creative workshops, outings, and overnight trips and use these skills to speak out in a variety of ways.
In September 2010, these youth got an opportunity visiting important sites in the Nation's capital and also connecting with civically and politically active people in the DC area. The meeting with Michelle Allen Mitchell who was the Chief of the Staff for Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay at that time allowed the youth to gain better understanding of how politics connect to their life and also allowed Michelle as an individual and as someone with the professional responsibility to listen to and relay the voices of those who are too often under-represented.
The voice, experience and efforts of those who experience poverty daily must become and equal part of the endeavor. A meeting like this, in a continuity of the actions and relationships reinforces that goal of partnership. For the Congressman's aide, it is a reminder of the potential that exists, or the enrichment that wider inclusion can bring. For the young people who have grown up in a low-income, under-resourced neighborhood, they see and feel that what they do can create positive change--for individuals and in policies.