NEWS & UPDATES
WRITING PROGRAM: TEENS EXPLORE GRIEF AND RESILIENCE
This year’s Summer Writing Workshop focused on bereavement. The writers published a dozen stories in which they reflected on the meaning of grief, loss, and resilience. The writers also heard from the author of Modern Loss, Gabi Birkner, and comedian Amy Schumer.
No Chance for Goodbye (I was afraid to see my uncle when he was dying; now I’m trying to forgive myself for not showing up.)
Face to Face With Grief (How I emerged from grief to re-connect with family and friends.)
Finding Peace Within Myself (My abuela’s death taught me to be sweet, even when life makes you bitter.)
Frame by Frame: Love in Motion (After my aunt died, filmmaking provided me with a way to lovingly channel my grief.)
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: NEW BEREAVEMENT & BELONGING WORKSHOPS
We launched a new Bereavement & Belonging professional development workshop series, which includes stories from the summer writing workshop. We were pleased that 100% of participants found the sessions very or extremely helpful—and grateful to the New York Life Foundation for supporting this bereavement work.
“Everyone shared during the session. It was rare to see someone with their phone out or disengaged. Discussions ran long, which is always a good sign.”
SIGNIFICANT SEL IMPACT ON YOUTH AND SCHOOL CULTURE
Teens at the agencies we trained showed significant gains in social and emotional learning competencies. Youth reported exceptional growth in overall SEL skills, and important growth on specific SEL competencies. Students also reported significant improvement in school culture:
For example, for youth using our programs, there was a 12% gain – from 74% to 86% – in feeling like they have someone at their school who they can talk to if they need help. There was a 10% gain – from 75% to 85% – in youth feeling like they were part of the school community.
This impact was related to the fact that nearly 90% of teachers said our programs were clear and easy to use.
MEET THE NEW YC AMBASSADORS COMMITTEE!
In September, YC launched its new committee of YC Ambassadors! This intergenerational leadership committee is composed of an enthusiastic group of YC alumni, friends of YC, and current writers.
The members will help to build awareness of YC by sharing social media posts and stories, making connections to their personal and professional networks, and supporting fundraising efforts like #GivingTuesday. The group will also provide mentoring and professional development opportunities for current writers and recent alumni, as well as offer another avenue for youth voice to be heard at YC and beyond!
WELCOMING JANILL BRIONES-LOPEZ AND CECILIA POU JOVE TO THE YC TEAM!
Janill Briones-Lopez is the new Director of Partnership Development at Youth Communication. A former YC writer, Janill returns to help the team nurture existing educational partners and cultivate new partner relationships. Janill has an extensive background in business development and sales and is a Hunter College alumna with a B.A. in psychology. Janill is passionate about being in tune with her Latinx culture, traveling to new places, and reading diverse books.
Cecilia Pou Jové is the Administrative Associate at Youth Communication and is originally from San Juan, PR. Cecilia has B.A.s in Comparative Literature and Arabic Studies from Williams College. Prior to joining the organization, she has worked in libraries as a Curatorial Assistant in undergrad and as a Bilingual Children’s Outreach Associate at the New York Public Library. Moreover, she has worked as a Project Manager for a language services provider. In her free time she enjoys drawing, language learning, and reading!
KEITH HEFNER INTERVIEWED FOR THE BELL’S MISEDUCATION PODCAST!
Where did all the school newspapers go? To find some answers, The Bell sat down with Keith Hefner, founder of Youth Communication, a nonprofit that has been publishing high school students’ stories for more than 40 years. Check out the episode: “Missing Voices: Part 2 — The Quest to Revive High School Journalism.”
THIS WEEK! 25TH ANNUAL FOSTER CARE AWARDS
For the 25th year, we are honoring 10 outstanding young writers for their powerful, nonfiction essays at Pier 57. Each winner will receive a scholarship of $1,100 and recognition for their writing, resiliency, and service to others. Congratulations to the winners and to the agencies that support them!
Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Children’s Village, Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services, St. John’s Residence for Boys, Forestdale, G.A. Family Services, Northern Rivers Family of Services, Rising Ground and SCO Family of Services.