Change Makers Summer Institute 2022

YVote Change Makers Summer Institute

During the summer of 2022, we worked with 45 high school students across NYC (and 10 peer facilitators) to examine the issues that matter most to youth and their communities.

Here’s what a few of the participants had to say about their experience:

I looked forward every Tuesday to feel the thrill of coming to YVote. I enjoyed connecting with others as well as sharing similar passions. It’s such a beautiful feeling to gather ideas together and become close friends with the people in my justice group. Additionally, I had fun learning so much about voting, and my own topic of reproductive and lgbtq+ rights!” —Ananna D., 11th grade

“I really enjoyed getting to meet new people who all cared about social justice issues and civic engagement. It was amazing hearing everyone’s opinions and having meaningful discussions. I also enjoyed getting to learn more about my issue (racial justice) and using everything we’ve worked on all summer in a culminating project. It felt like our hard work did not go to waste. I loved working with everyone and conducting interesting research.” —Nya M., 12th grade

“It was a great experience because I had never canvassed before and it was something I enjoyed doing especially around people I was comfortable with and felt very empowering.” —Gurpuran S.

“I really liked the synthesizing/discussion we had at the end of the Civic Expo. It was interesting to hear about everyone’s experiences, even if they did not participate in my group’s expo. I loved to hear how much they appreciated being introduced to youth voices on certain issues, especially those for which people do not hear youth voices speak for.” —Dorina A., 11th grade

The Change Makers gathered weekly for peer-led lessons and activities around using individual and collective power to create change. Learn more about what this group of YVote Change Makers accomplished during their summer institute below:

DateJuly 12 July 20July 26
ThemeIntroductions, Identity & PowerUnderstanding PowerIdentity and Agency
Agenda– Icebreaker: “We Got Issues”
– YVote Welcome & Community Agreements & Scenarios
– Voting Kahoot
– Voting Barometer: Political Attitudes and Beliefs
– Action Groups: Participant Introductions and KWL Charts
– Closing Reflections
– Find the full agenda here
– Power Structures Mafia
– Community Agreement Recap
– Using Influence Article Share (and Pizza)
– Power Visualization Activity
– Types of Power
– Power Mapping
– Closing Reflections
– Find the full agenda here

– Three things about you!
– Recap of Power Session and Community Agreements
– Activist Archetypes & The Power of Labels (and Dinner)
– Understanding Our Stories
– Civic Expo Overview and Brainstorming
– Civic Expo SWOT Analysis
– 15% Solutions
– Find the full agenda here
DateAugust 3August 10August 16
ThemeMobilizing & OrganizingCivic Engagement & Electoral PoliticsYouth Civic Expo
Agenda– Civic Expo Station working time
– The Six Strategies of Social Change
– Elevator Pitches: Making the Case for your Cause
– Info about the Day of Action
– Action Group Work and SMART Goal setting
– Find the full agenda here
– Day of Action Debrief
– Civic Expo Meditation/ Visualization
– Action Group Working Time + DINNER
– CivOlympics:
– Civic Taboo
– YVote Jeopardy
– Find the full agenda here
– Civic Expo
– Debrief + Dinner
– Individual and Collective Reflection
– Slideshow/Video + Facilitator Reflections
– Find the full agenda here

The summer program culminated in an electric YVote Civic Expo, where Change Makers created and facilitated learning experiences for each other, peers, and adults around the topics of Racial Justice, Gender Justice, Climate Justice, Health Justice, and Criminal Justice Reform. Couldn’t make it? No problem, check out the video and photos below!