Technology Access

Amplifying Youth Voice

Launched in 2017, the Fund for Youth Connectivity seeks to amplify the voice of opportunity youth by providing youth with technology-based solutions that enable them to have a stronger role and impact in the opportunity youth movement. The initiative grants youth mobile devices and connectivity, and provides training in new digital literacy and video production skills needed to use these devices to tell their stories, educate others, and address community issues. A portion of youth will create videos that will be shared with the local collaboratives and, in the future, on this page.

Fund for Youth Connectivity supports three Opportunity Youth Forum communities in partnering with youth media organizations with the aim of documenting youth stories of leading local change:

  1. Thrive, Chicago, IL (Thrive Chicago, backbone) is partnering with Free Spirit Media, a nationally recognized youth media training and production provider that works with youth residing in neighborhoods that have been systematically marginalized into economic distress,, and the ARK of St. Sabina, a community-based organization that provides youth with traditional and digital journalism training. Youth will create videos that will be shared with funders, city agencies, policy makers, and broad audiences reached through Free Spirit Media’s digital and event-based distribution channels, to amplify the voices of young people citywide.
  2. Denver Opportunity Youth Investment Initiative, Denver, CO (Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, backbone) is building on an existing partnership with Colorado Public Television, which implements the national American Graduate initiative in Denver, and Entravision Communications Corporation, a leading media company that reaches and engages U.S. Latinos across acculturation levels and media channels. Youth will receive a focused media training that will culminate in creation of biographical and resume videos, with particular attention paid to providing culturally appropriate exposure and training for Latino youth.
  3. Project U-Turn, Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia Youth Network, backbone) is partnering with WHYY to provide comprehensive media production training for opportunity youth. WHYY operates Flash Media Labs at five Philadelphia public schools to teach media production and storytelling, and also implements the American Graduate initiative in Philadelphia. Participants will be paid to participate in this training, improving their future employment prospects, and will produce biographical videos to be shared with local and national partners.

Additionally, current and former opportunity youth who are in the process of becoming leaders in the Opportunity Youth United movement will receive devices, connectivity, and leadership development training to document Opportunity Youth United’s national efforts to increase opportunity and reduce poverty nationwide.

To learn more about the Fund for Youth Connectivity, please contact the Forum for Community Solutions at: aspenfcs@gmail.com.

Launched in 2017, the Fund for Youth Connectivity seeks to amplify the voice of opportunity youth by providing youth with technology-based solutions that enable them to have a stronger role and impact in the opportunity youth movement.