Mid-year Highlights for our YC Supporters


This year, we helped of hundreds educators build supportive, welcoming, and effective schools and programs for tens of thousands of students.

We deeply appreciate your commitment to creating opportunities for all students to thrive and follow their dreams. Here are a few mid-year highlights.

Strengthening Education & Youth Development Organizations

“The girls have become very confident, they have found their voice, cried and have grown in their personal, emotional and mental lives — striving every day to be the best ‘me’ they can be.” 
-Educator who used Real As Me, our girls’ empowerment program.

This year, we trained more than 600 educators to use Real As Me and our other 10 social and emotional learning curricula with more than 10,000 students. Our data shows that our story-based programs are uniquely engaging and effective:

  • -95% said that teens strengthened social and emotional learning (SEL) skills that contribute to increased academic performance and wellbeing. 
  • -93% said that youth increased participation in group discussions and improved oral reading fluency. 
  • -And teen participants also reported that participation in our programs increased their empathy, communication skills, career aspirations, and many other SEL skills. 
  • -Our newest resource is Who’s in My Classroom? Building Developmentally and Culturally Responsive School Communities (Jossey-Bass). Acclaimed educator Lisa Delpit wrote, “Educators…will be moved by the students’ vivid descriptions of teachers who make them feel welcome and motivated to learn.”


Putting Youth Voices in the Mix

Teens in our intensive writing program interviewed Schools Chancellor David Banks. They also published dozens of stories on everything from surviving homelessness to applying to college. Their stories reached tens of thousands of readers through our digital magazines. 

Alumni Achievements Further Magnify Our Impact

  • Desiree Bailey’s book of poetry, What Noise Against the Cane, was a finalist for the National Book Award.  
  • -Alum Tonya Leslie published biographies of Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and John Lewis for young readers.  

Recognition for Executive Director Betsy Cohen

City & State magazine featured our own Betsy Cohen as one of its top 40 Under 40 nonprofit executives!  

24th Annual Foster Care Awards Success!

YC’s foremost commitment is to youth of color and other youth whose voices have traditionally been excluded from the mainstream, including LGBTQIA youth, youth facing challenges related to poverty, immigration or homeless status, disability, mental health, and juvenile justice or child welfare involvement. Youth in foster care are just one of the many audiences that YC amplifies, and we have been doing it with great intention since we were founded in 1980.

On June 1st, we honored 10 remarkable young people at one of our most moving and uplifting events, YC’s 24th Annual Awards for Youth in Foster Care. Each winner received a scholarship of $1,100 and recognition of their writing, resiliency, and service to others.
We are deeply grateful to The Sunny and Abe Rosenberg Foundation for its longstanding support of youth in foster care and for the generous scholarships provided to this year’s winning essayists. Thank you again to the agencies that provide services to this year’s winners.

Read the winning essays in our awards program here.

Spring Match!

“Writing for Youth Communication changed my life enormously! It helped me work through my emotions about being placed in foster care, navigate my relationship with my therapist, and process losing a best friendship in a healthy way. It also made me feel like I was doing something important. I know that without Youth Communication I wouldn’t be where I am, or who I am today.” – Ericka Francois, YC Represent Alumna

Please donate today to support YC’s writing program and foster care youth like Ericka, and other young adults whose voices have traditionally been excluded.

Every dollar donated up to $40,000 will be matched by our board of directors until June 30! Your gift will help us provide our literacy-rich, social emotional learning curricula to the highest need public schools and communities nationally.

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

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