Made in Durham’s 2018-2019 Youth Network gets to work

September 7, 2018

Thirty seven Durham youth ages 14-24 will bring the youth voice and perspective to Made in Durham’s work during the coming year.

The 2018-2019 Youth Network members were selected in July and members began meeting in August.

Network members represent the diversity of the youth experience Durham. They meet every two weeks during the school year to examine the many challenges and opportunities facing the Made in Durham partnership as it creates an education-to-career system for Durham youth. Members serve on Made in Durham’s board, advisory team and action teams and pursue their own action projects to improve the equitable treatment of students at local high schools.

“Made in Durham from its inception has recognized that organizations serving youth must have youth serving as authentic partners who collaborate in shaping solutions that affect them,” said Dan McKinney, Made in Durham’s youth engagement strategist and racial equity lead, who coordinates the Youth Network. “Our youth bring invaluable insights into all of many facets of our work.”

Network members in their first meeting learned about GoTriangle’s new initiative to offer free transit system access to all students aged 13-18. Network members in earlier years identified transportation as a key component of ensuring equitable participation.

Made in Durham also teamed this year with Latino Community Credit Union to open checking and savings accounts for free for Network member so the stipends they receive to support their participation can be directly deposited into their accounts. The move also supports students’ financial literacy and helps them take a first key step to lifelong financial security. Latino Credit Union already collaborates with Partners for Youth Opportunity, another Made in Durham partner, on youth college savings. Research shows that youth who save $500 or more for college, especially youth from low socio-economic backgrounds, are three times more likely to go to college and four times as likely to graduate.

By September, nearly all Youth Network members will have completed a two-day Racial Equity Institute workshop – a key element supporting their school equity action projects, to build a common vocabulary and frame for tackling systemic racism.

For more information, watch the Youth Network video or contact McKinney at dmckinney@madeindurham.org or (214) 562-7133.

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Made in Durham is a community partnership of educators, business, government, youth-serving nonprofits and young people mobilized around a shared vision that all of Durham’s youth will complete high school and a post-secondary credential and begin a rewarding career by the age of 25.
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