Youth Journalism: Youth Are Awesome!

The Cause

Hey grown-ups, did you notice that the news disappeared from Facebook? So did we. And it's making thousands - maybe HUNDREDS of thousands - of people turn back to print media and independent online media to stay informed. That's where YAA comes in.

Youth Are Awesome (YAA) is a youth journalism program run by Youth Central, which is a youth-focused charity based right here in Calgary. Like all Youth Central Programs, YAA helps young people aged 12-18 to find a community of peers and teaches them how to meaningfully contribute to that community. Youth from Calgary and Area apply to YAA and make a commitment for an entire year to either act as journalists to the online publication in blog format or as editors to their peers' work. These youth participate in workshops with experts in journalism, work/habit-building skills and more.

This is a publication FOR youth BY youth. These kids are learning how to participate in one of society's most important rights, the right to relevant and accurate information. These skills will be crucial to ensuring the next generation can succeed.

YAA has been successfully running for over a decade. We need help to bring this uniquely potent program to more students.

Who Will it Benefit?

We know it's cliche to say, but Youth Are Awesome benefits everyone. And we mean EVERYONE!

The youth participants are gaining honest-to-goodness journalism skills that they don't get to practice elsewhere. They are also learning to be invested and accountable because their team is counting on them for the duration of their year-long commitment.

Readers, who are mostly youth themselves, also benefit by having access to a local and authentic source of information. Youth often struggle to see themselves represented in the media. This creates a tether - a lifeline - to a community where they belong.

Calgary as a whole also benefits from this program. Now and in the future. Our youth report an increased likelihood to be engaged community members throughout their lifetimes after participating in YAA or another Youth Central program. Engaged youth become engaged adults.

Will you help us invest in the future by voting for Youth Are Awesome today?