How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?
We were just awarded with $30,000 to launch Youth Ventures in Silicon Valley. Additional funding would allow us to deepen impact through a multi-generational approach. Our idea leverages partnerships with local schools and corporations to spread the changemaking continuum cross sectors - strengthening trust and accountability in our community. Our idea is unique in the sense that it does not only provide a safe space for collaboration, but provides youth the resources and support to actually create change, in a way that matters to them. Each cycle of these youth led social projects not only addresses empathy, but also addresses filling the gap in important 21st century skills of leadership, problem solving, teamwork, and entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your partnerships
1) Emerging Leaders United (ELU): We are working with an existing group of young professionals from over 30 local companies (Texas Instruments, Deloitte Flextronics, more) Members of ELU will be mentors to the HS venture teams.
2) Local Schools: We have both district level and school level partnerships with local elementary schools - high schools which we would be working closely with to implement this idea.
3) Ashoka Youth Venture
We need a significant amount of students and mentors in order for our idea to succeed. Challenge addressed through leveraging current partnerships with corporations and schools. The plan calls for a teacher champion at each school that ensures a continued pipeline of student participants. Our Emerging Leaders group ensures a mentor pipeline through its membership base. Another challenge will be how to accurately measure the effects of increased empathy within youth and workplaces. Challenge addressed through leveraging different Youth Venture reporting solutions that have been put in place.
Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?
encouraging philanthropy, creating a safe space, developing emotional competency, building leadership skills, storytelling, immersion, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, instilling courage, enabling action.