What are Youth Action Programs?
CLIA’s Youth Action Initiatives are after-school programs and specialty workshops designed to harness the natural talents of young people and provide a forum where they can learn problem solving skills and advocate for positive change in their schools and neighborhoods.
Teen Leaders for Change (TLC)
TLC has testified in front of the Maryland General Assembly, and provided elected officials with a vital youth perspective on topics including school reform, gang prevention and jobs for youth. Members also participate in service projects such as raising funds and awareness for homeless youth and mentoring elementary school students. During their weekly meetings, TLC youth strengthen their leadership, public speaking, debate, networking and professionalism skills. They also meet new friends and have a lot of fun while really making a difference. There are currently two TLC Chapters with plans to expand throughout the city.
Youth Action Workshops
are the perfect choice for students who want to make a difference, but can’t commit to joining TLC. They are customized to meet the needs of participating youth from all different ages and backgrounds. The sessions cover advocacy strategies and emphasize persuasive writing, public speaking, conflict resolution and team building activities. With guidance from CLIA staff, participants select an issue, investigate the problem, and then do something about it, taking action to advocate for new policies, informing others, etc. Each workshop culminates in a presentation where youth share their results with the public. Sessions can be custom designed or integrated into existing youth programs for young people for all ages and backgrounds. CLIA can work with ANY group of youth and help them become effective advocates and leaders in a few months or less.
- TLC youth led an advocacy effort for increased school construction funding, which ultimately led to an additional $10 million budgeted for aging school buildings
- A workshop group successfully convinced the City Housing Department to demolish 21 vacant and dangerous houses in their neighborhood
- CLIA students participated in efforts to pass legislation prohibiting alcohol and tobacoo billboards near schools and churches
- Participants in CLIA's Youth Action Initiatives are twice as likely to stay involved in their communities and contribute over 5,000 hours of community service annually