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For Residents: Resident Leadership: Youth Leadership Academy

Youth engagement and leadership is critical to the success of HOPE SF. A high proportion of current and future residents are under 16. One of the HOPE SF Principles is to involve residents in all aspects of the revitalization effort, and this includes residents of all ages.

The HOPE SF Youth Leadership Academy is designed to arm residents ages 14–16 with the development knowledge and leadership skills they need to fully participate in the revitalization of their communities. The program builds on the successes of the HOPE SF Leadership Academy and offers young people an opportunity to have a real impact on their community. HOPE SF Academy is also a gateway to employment opportunities — it provides practical, real-world experience, job skills, paid opportunities, and connections to employers.

The HOPE SF Youth Leadership Academy was formed in 2010 to create an intentional and authentic youth voice in the revitalization planning process of HOPE SF communities.  The Youth Academy has adopted a dual youth leadership and adult ally training model designed by the Center for Cities & Schools "Youth-Plan Learn Act Now" to create meaningful and lasting system and policy recommendations.  In its first year, the HOPE SF Youth Leadership Academy successfully recruited and trained 20 public housing youth from 4 sites and engaged them in community mapping and development of recommendations for the revitalization of their communities. Youth projects made real change to open space plans, food access, and recreation space.

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