We’re rising to meet the needs of youth and educators

As our country re-opens, we are reflecting on the creative ways that we have grown to meet the challenges of the pandemic. Here are a few highlights and how we have been able to amplify youth voices this year — thanks to your generous support. 

Teen writers inspire, inform, and connect readers through a difficult time

Throughout this year, our teen writers published stories about how they are persisting through the pandemic, managing emotional challenges, and supporting each other. Media outlets such as ChalkbeatYRMedia,  and The Imprint distributed our stories to hundreds of thousands of teen readers, educators, and youth workers. We also partnered with educational resource providers such as Actively Learn, who integrated youth voice into their online curriculum platform.

Helping teachers build the social and emotional skills of students, by elevating youth voice

To help educators support the well-being of their students, we expanded our social and emotional learning (SEL) offerings with three new curriculum programs (pictured above) and teacher professional development — all based on our real teen stories. 


In August 2021, Wiley will publish Who’s In My Classroom? Building Developmental and Culturally Responsive School Communities, a new book of concrete strategies to help educators build supportive relationships with students. Written in collaboration with Gess LeBlanc, a professor at Hunter College’s School of Education, the book links the latest educational research on adolescent development with true stories from our teen writers.

Congrats to our writers, who excelled in a demanding year 

Here’s some hopeful and good news about some of our recent writers:  Marreka Beckett’s story “Claiming the Life I Deserve,” won a 2020 Media for a Just Society Award. Sarah Malik started a volunteer tutoring program for kids in foster care. Bryant A.  moved into his first apartment. Vinay Hunduja graduated from Queens College and in a recent story encouraged other youth to get the vaccineEyhdi Osorio is starting John Jay College in the fall. Hazel Livingston will attend Oberlin College in the fall. Helen Chen will attend Columbia University, as well as Richi Barua who received a full scholarship.


This challenging time taught us how to adapt and grow to meet the needs of our community. We’re thankful to be able to continue to elevate the perspectives of youth. In doing so, we are transforming the mindsets of adults to best support their holistic needs, and creating more nurturing learning environments in which all young people thrive. This work is only possible because of your dedication to young people. Thank you for your support!  

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