Recent Highlights from Youth Communication

what an incredible year!


Some highlights on how our community support amplifies youth stories and empowers young people to achieve their personal and academic goals.


Youth Communication’s end of year appeal was a great success and we thank everyone who helped us to reach our $50,000 goal. We also send a big Thank You to the writer alumni who agreed to share their positive experiences via video on social media. If you don’t already follow us, we encourage you to check us out on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Because of the support we received from our annual appeal and the partnership from friends and funders like you, we were able to accomplish the following and look forward to growing even more this year.  

Writing Program

In 2022, three instructors worked individually and in groups with 38 teen writers as they explored personal experiences connected to social issues. Twelve were in foster care. Most other writers live in low-income households and attend under-performing schools. Writers completed 10-12 story drafts as they produced 45 stories on racial justice movements, income inequality, race, gender, sexuality, life in foster care, family issues, immigration, and other topics. 

Publishing & Reprints

We continue to publish digital versions of our two magazines, YCteen and Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care. We published this year’s stories on our revamped website, which attracted nearly 100,000 unique visitors, a 20% increase over last year. That has enabled us to reach thousands more educators, after school, and foster care workers.

Our partnerships with other magazines increased our impact. Chalkbeat (read by educators), The Imprint (read by child welfare staff), and The Nation (read by policy wonks), reprinted 14 stories in 2022. We also published three anthologies of our stories with commercial publishers. And we licensed a dozen to educational publishers. We estimate that collectively we reached more than 200,000 readers in 2022.

An additional 65 stories appeared in our curricula Who’s in My Classroom?, published by Wiley/Jossey-Bass where they reached an even wider and more diverse audience of educators and nonprofit leaders. 93 stories were reprinted in three anthologies published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Professional Development

We provided professional development (PD) services to 993 educators at schools, afterschool programs, foster care agencies, and other settings. The increase reflects the popularity of our new Culturally Responsive Education workshops and the ongoing popularity of our SEL programs. We estimate that they worked with more than 25,000 youth this year.


Mirrors & Windows: Culturally Responsive Professional Development

Over the past year, the skyrocketing absenteeism in NYC schools (30%!) is one of many distressing signs of post-Covid student disengagement. Educators need support and Youth Communication’s teen-written stories, social and emotional learning curriculum, and culturally responsive professional development are here to help. See below to read glowing testimonials from recent participants of our newly launched Teen Stories as Mirrors and Windows: A Culturally Responsive Professional Development Series.

“This was stronger than many other trainings I’ve been to. The use of youth writing was powerful, and I appreciated the many opportunities for participants to reflect not only on youth work practices but also on what it means for us as people to be doing this work.

“I really enjoyed the session, especially the story we read. I related to it a lot, and young people could definitely benefit from reading stories like these!

“This session was very engaging and provided useful activities that can be easily adapted and applied across multiple learning environments.”

“I wish admin and other school support staff were a part of this!”


Serving as a member of the board of directors for a nonprofit organization is a labor of love in many ways. You must be deeply connected to the mission and committed to supporting the daily work that goes toward making a collective vision a reality. Every one of our board members brings this deep connection, commitment, and passion for amplifying youth voice and building more culturally responsive learning communities. We could not thank them more for the time, energy, and enthusiasm they share with us.

And, we are overjoyed to share that we are adding two new members to the fold! Please join us in welcoming Arlen and Henry and click below to read more about the great skills and experience they will be bringing to YC.

Arlen Benjamin-Gomez, Education Equity Consultant & Lawyer

Henry Guttilla, Executive Creative Director at Ultra Events NYC

Other News:

Join Us! Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Day Free Webinar

SEL Day - Free Webinar, March 9. Hosted by YC.

Join us in celebrating National Social and Emotional Learning (#SEL) Week! YC is hosting a free, interactive webinar on Thursday, March 9 – 3 p.m. EST. Learn more & save your free spot. 

“Expanding Our Universe: Building SEL Through Reading True, Teen-Written Stories.” In this webinar, Youth Communication staff will use excerpts from two of our true, teen-written stories to examine how SEL shows up in those stories themselves and how participants develop their own SEL by reading that story. We’ll also explore how SEL practices must be #culturallyresponsive in order to be effective. Stories—telling them, sharing them, and reading them in community—is the way to make sure of it. 

Join US! YC Spring Benefit

YC Spring Benefit 2023

Join us for our 1st Annual Spring Benefit! Celebrate 42 years of amplifying youth voice and the foundational leaders who made this possible.

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2023
6PM – 9PM

Cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and awards program.

Tickets & Sponsorship Information

Teen Writing Contest 

Header: Teen Writing Contest

Youth Communication is sponsoring its annual writing contest for young people. Every three months, we will highlight five recent articles and ask readers to write a response to the author of a story. Tell them how you related to their story, what lessons you learned, or other ways the story impacted you. We will choose three winners with prizes of $150 (1st prize), $75 (2nd prize), and $50 (3rd prize.) Deadline: April 7, 2023  

Learn More and Share! 

Amplifying Youth Voice 

Story Header: Adjusting to my Adoptive Family -George Romero

Amplifying youth voice is at the heart of Youth Communication’s mission. It is increasingly important that we center the unique ideas, opinions and concerns of young people as we tackle the many challenges education, and the world, face today. We are incredibly grateful for all of our YC teen writers who choose to share their story with us for the benefit of others. And, we are particularly proud of George Romero who shared his story about adjusting to his adoptive family, published during YC’s 2022 Summer Writing Workshop: 

Adjusting to My Adoptive Family by George Romero
(Reprinted in The Imprint and The Nation)  

Also, you can hear directly from George about his experience at Youth Communication!  

To learn more about different ways you can make an impact at Youth Communication, email [email protected].

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