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Big Citizen Hub: How are LA youth making an impact in their community?

Posted August 28, 2017 by Big Citizen Hub

Big Citizen HUB has spent the last six months connecting 225 young people from all across Los Angeles.

These youth represent:

  • 60 zip codes and 57 school communities
  • 34% male, 57% female, 1% gender non-conforming, 8% non disclosed
  • 77% Latinx/Hispanic, 5% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 3% Caucasian/White, 3% African American/Black, 6% Mixed Race, 6% non disclosed

Together on diverse teams, Big Citizens have been participating in dialogue, community immersion activities, and direct actions to address the critical issues dividing our cities, including Environmental Sustainability, Food Justice, Homelessness, Immigration, LGBTQ+ Equality, and Animal Rights. From making blankets for people experiencing homelessness, participating in the Free the People Immigration March, taking toxic tours and making seed bombs, to participating in a letter writing campaign to SeaWorld, these youth are learning how to take action on the issues that matter most to them, whether that be through direct service, mobilization, or speaking out and sharing their own stories.

This has already been an incredible year and we are excited to continue moving forward to harness youth assets and positive peer networks, ultimately contributing to a more just, open, and connected society.

As we approach the end of our program year, we expect to graduate 196 young people in mid-July. Big Citizens have collectively spent over 20,000 hours exploring issues of social justice with their peers and our 30+ community partners.

  • Big Citizens receive social and emotional support from near-peer mentors
  • Big Citizens have gained skills in using our public transit system to explore LA
  • We have engaged 225 Big Citizens, along with their friends and family in volunteerism throughout the last six months. 83 of these youth are back for their 2nd or 3rd year with Big Citizen HUB.
  • Big Citizens come from 60 zip codes across LA, making important connections with youth outside of their neighborhood
  • Big Citizens also connect through social media and learn how to utilize these networks to increase the impact they can have on the issues they care about

It's also been an exciting year operationally! We've begun working with the Building Healthy Communities - Boyle Heights: Invest in Youth Campaign, furthering valuable partnerships through advocacy efforts for positive youth development programs in LA. We've also begun to build greater organizational capacity by bringing on a Director of Programs and a Director of Impact and Evaluation. This is especially exciting as capacity has been a challenge as we strive to create the highest quality positive youth development program for our participants.

This year we launched the use of a mobile technology to collect information about youth's real-time experiences during the program. This methodology, called Experience Sampling Method (ESM), signals youth at random time points throughout the program day with a brief survey that asks respondents about what they are doing and feeling in that moment. This approach provides us with data on the quality of program implementation and how youth are experiencing and interacting with program components. We plan to share evaluation findings through an impact report this fall, after the 2017 program is complete.

This has already been an incredible year and we are excited to continue moving forward to harness youth assets and positive peer networks, ultimately contributing to a more just, open, and connected society.

Media Features:

  1. NBC – Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch - 3/14/17
  2. Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch
  3. Park Labrea News Beverly Press - 4/27/17 - GYSD