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Youth Programs - Contact: Theresa Tran or Jessica Best
Drawing on over 50 years of youth leadership development programming in Metro Detroit, the Michigan Roundtable is continuously developing programming that serves the interests of youth across the region. We work with youth from across the region on various issues of justice at the individual, school and community levels with an eye on effecting public policy.
Central to our work are the following principles:
• Youth Empowerment
We cultivate an environment in which young people feel safe to be their most authentic self and use self-determination in charting the course of the program. They are encouraged to see themselves as leaders with authority and agency to make change that not only affects their own lives but the lives of those around them.
• Positive Youth Development
Using a Positive Youth Development framework, we work with our youth participants from a strengths-based perspective. Every young person involved in our program regardless of their circumstances brings unique perspectives and experiences, all of which are valuable and treated as such. We create a space in which they are able to thrive in areas where they are already doing well and give them opportunities to self-identify skills they would like to improve. This approach welcomes youth to come to us without fear of judgment and furthermore gives us windows into their lives in a way that enables us to make referrals in a non-threatening manner.
• Youth-driven and Youth-led Programming
Youth are the experts when it comes to identifying the topics and issues that are most important in their lives. Therefore our programming is completely driven and led by them. Youth in our program have the authority and agency to be key decision makers in any given process. They decide the topics they want to discuss, the activities they participate in, and influence future changes to programming. We create intentional spaces to practice both reflection and giving constructive feedback to one another, including to adult staff members. We provide them with training and skills they need to be successful in carrying out tasks and provide ongoing support throughout the process.
Funding for the Michigan Roundtable Youth Programs is made possible by grants from the Skillman Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Bank of America, City Connect, Detroit Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Ford Foundation, Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, United Way of South East Michigan, MGM Foundation & Fifth Third Bank.