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Youth Communication equips and empowers educators and youth workers with real teen-written stories and a literacy-rich training model to engage struggling youth and build their social and emotional learning skills. [more]
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Youth Communication Executive Director Keith Hefner at PASE
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We're Hiring!

We're Hiring! As you may know, we have dramatically grown our professional development work in the past several years. We now offer curricula and training--all based on the true stories created by teens in our writing program--to more than 400 staff at dozens of city and private agencies each year.

We are looking for a Chief Operating Officer to manage the people and projects involved in building and expanding this work, and a part-time Education Trainer who is experienced in education and positive youth development to lead professional development workshops and related work.

Help us find the best possible candidates by sharing the job descriptions with the people in your networks.

Read the job descriptions on
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Teaching Tolerance highlights our "ripple effect"

Teaching Tolerance highlights our Teaching Tolerance—a magazine that reaches 450,000 educators nationwide—highlighted the "wide-reaching impact" of Youth Communication in a feature story about our intensive writing program. As Maya Lindberg put it in her article, "Teenage writers in New York City are changing how educators and youth workers do their jobs—and how young readers see the world." Teaching Tolerance also added two of our stories to their online anti-bias curriculum. In "Change for the Better," Nhi Tong writes about adjusting as a new immigrant from Vietnam. In "Tough Guise," Melvin Pichardo describes how acting male roles on stage helped him overcome macho family expectations.
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"Path to Advocacy" issue wins prestigious educational publishing award

In June, 2016, the Association of American Publishers named the Spring 2015 Represent ("The Path to Advocacy") as a winner in the Single Issue Editorial category for grades 7-12.

YCteen (Youth Communication's general-interest teen magazine) was named a finalist in two categories. Johileny Meran's story about caring for her dying mother despite her own disability,"I Did It For My Mom", was named a finalist in the “Feature Article” category. YCteen was named a finalist in the "Best Overall Editorial" category.

The REVERE Awards are the nation’s leading awards program for educational resources. Youth Communication’s teen writers compete against adult-written publications and industry giants such as Scholastic and the New York Times Upfront for the REVERE awards.
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Youth Communication anthology honored by librarians

Youth Communication anthology honored by librarians Rage, Youth Communication's book to help teens cope with anger, was selected for Voice of Youth Advocate's (VOYA) Nonfiction Honor List.

The Honor List is comprised of books chosen annually by a committee of librarians and teachers, with significant input from middle school students. VOYA Magazine is the leading library journal dedicated to the needs of young adult librarians, the advocacy of young adults, and the promotion of young adult literature and reading.

The teen authors in Rage are honest about their struggles with anger and describe how their abusive pasts affected their emotions. They share realistic advice and anger management strategies that they've used to get their anger under control. Educators use the book to help the young people they work with recognize their own strong emotions and learn effective coping skills.

Rage is one of three books in the Real Teen Voices series by Free Spirit, a publisher specializing in self-help books for youth. Free Spirit is also the publisher of Youth Communication's The Struggle to Be Strong and The Courage to Be Yourself. Both collections are accompanied by a Leader's Guide to help adults who work with youth address the themes of resilience and conflict resolution.
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Represent’s Gangs issue honored by major educational and policy organizations

<i>Represent</i>’s Gangs issue honored by major educational and policy organizations ”Gang Life: The Grime Beneath the Glamour,” the Winter 2012 issue of Represent, is a finalist in the 2013 Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) awards in the One-Theme Issue category. The AEP is the national, nonprofit professional organization for educational publishers. Each year, their awards recognize excellence and innovation in learning resources.

Represent’s Gangs issue is also a finalist in the 2013 Media for a Just Society Awards in the magazine category. The awards, sponsored by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, honor media outlets whose work furthers the public’s understanding of criminal justice, juvenile justice, child welfare, and adult protection issues. Represent is nominated in the same category as The New Yorker and Mother Jones.

The Gangs issue of Represent features unflinchingly honest first-hand accounts from youth about the realities of gang life, explores the reasons why they join gangs in the first place, and offers advice on how they can leave the life for good.
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Two Youth Communication writers tackle big issues, win journalism awards

Two Youth Communication writers tackle big issues, win journalism awards Two teens in Youth Communication’s writing program won at the 2013 Ippies, an annual competition sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism for the best of New York City’s ethnic and community press. Marlo Scott’s story, ”From Inmate to College Student”, which was originally published in Represent magazine, won first place for Best Editorial/Commentary. It describes how he transformed himself from troubled teen to thriving college student. YCteen magazine writer Anthony Turner’s story won third place for Best Editorial/Commentary with ”What’s Wrong With Reading?”. In the piece, he challenged his peers to read more and not view reading books as “acting white.”
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Youth Communication benefit with Marcus Samuelsson and Veronica Chambers a success

Youth Communication benefit with Marcus Samuelsson and Veronica Chambers a success On December 4th, 2012, Youth Communication held a benefit reading of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson's best selling memoir Yes, Chef, written in collaboration with Youth Communication alumna Veronica Chambers. The evening's program was moderated by Mimi Sheraton, former New York Times food critic.

"Veronica is only the second Youth Communication alumni writer to get a book on The New York Times best seller list, so I was thrilled when that happened," said Keith Hefner, Executive Director of Youth Communication. "But I was even more excited to hear Marcus and Veronica describe the back-and-forth writing process that produced this fascinating and beautifully written book."

More than 70 people attended the sold-out event at Red Rooster, which was sponsored by Loews Corp, New York Life, Random House, and The Jenesis Group, a private family foundation. The event raised more than $50,000, which will help transform the lives of at-risk youth through intensive writing instruction and mentorship.
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YCteen story wins Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism

<i>YCteen</i> story wins Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism “My Headscarf Cover-Up”, a story published in YCteen, won Honorable Mention in the Youth Media category in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism. The story, published anonymously, describes how the writer secretly disobeys her father’s orders to wear a hijab, despite potentially drastic consequences. The medals, sponsored by the Journalism Center on Children and Families, honor distinguished coverage of disadvantaged children, youth, and families.
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AEP names two Youth Communication publications as finalists in 2012 Distinguished Achievement Awards

AEP names two Youth Communication publications as finalists in 2012 Distinguished Achievement Awards Two of Youth Communication's publications are finalists in the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Awards, a prestigious competition sponsored by the Association of Education Publishers (AEP).

The Youth Communication curriculum, Managing Transitions for Teens, is a finalist in the category of "Best Supplemental Resource: Life Skills and Character Education."

Represent's issue on substance abuse "Off the Hook: Overcoming Addiction" is a finalist in the category of "Periodicals: Best One-Theme Issue (PreK-12)"

Youth Communication's teen writers compete directly with adult publications in this competition, the highest standard for quality, professional educational resources. The AEP is comprised of the major educational publishers in the nation, including Scholastic, National Geographic, Highlights and Weekly Reader.
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YCteen wins "Best Editorial/Commentary” at 2012 Ippies

<i>YCteen </i>wins Youth Communication writer Marco Salazar's story "Scam U” which criticized his school for allowing trade school representatives to pitch to students during classroom time, won first prize for "Best Editorial/Commentary" in the 2012 Ippies, a competition sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism for the best of the New York City independent press.
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Youth Communication honors alumna Rachel Swarns, author of American Tapestry

Youth Communication honors alumna Rachel Swarns, author of <i>American Tapestry</i> On June 20, 2012, Youth Communication celebrated alumna Rachel L. Swarns and American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama (HarperCollins Publishers). We're thankful to our supporters, especially board member Neil Barsky and Joan Davidson for hosting the event, and to Rachel, who described how working as a teen writer at Youth Communication served as a foundation for her journalism career.

Rachel L. Swarns joined the teen writing staff of Youth Communication in
1984 when she was a high school student. She served as managing editor of Youth Communication’s YCteen magazine, where she published more than a dozen stories. After high school, she attended Howard University where she wrote forThe Hilltop. She worked for the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald after college.

Rachel has been a reporter for The New York Times since 1995. She has reported on immigration, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, and First Lady Michelle Obama and her role in the Obama White House. She has also worked overseas for The New York Times, reporting from Russia, Cuba, and southern Africa, where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief.

We’re proud to count Rachel as one of hundreds of teens who received training in our writing program over the past 30 years, and who go on to make their marks as adults.
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CSA News publishes article on Youth Communication's high-interest resources for educators

<i>CSA News </i>publishes article on Youth Communication's high-interest resources for educators The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) publishes an article on Youth Communication's high-interest resources for educators.
Read the article [pdf]
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