Category:Youth at the Center

Joshua Jones – #FiveYearsLater #STL2039

Community stories marking the five-year milestone after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. and the Ferguson uprising. Residents reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Tags Justice for AllOpportunity to ThriveBuilding Safe and Trauma-Informed Environments
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Ned – #FiveYearsLater #STL2039

Community stories marking the five-year milestone after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. and the Ferguson uprising. Residents reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Tags Justice for AllYouth at the Center
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Terrance – #FiveYearsLater #STL2039

Community stories marking the five-year milestone after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. and the Ferguson uprising. Residents reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

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Vetta and Riisa – #STL2039

Sharing the visions of St. Louis residents for a future St. Louis—in 2039—where Racial Equity is the reality and what they’re doing to achieve it today. #STL2039

Tags Youth at the CenterOpportunity to ThriveRacial EquityHealthIncreasing Access to Care
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Amelia and Maria – #STL2039

Sharing the visions of St. Louis residents for a future St. Louis—in 2039—where Racial Equity is the reality and what they’re doing to achieve it today. #STL2039

Tags YouthYouth at the CenterOpportunity to ThriveRacial EquityFinancial EmpowermentSupporting Career ReadinessRacial Equity Fund
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David and Rachel – #STL2039

Sharing the visions of St. Louis residents for a future St. Louis—in 2039—where Racial Equity is the reality and what they’re doing to achieve it today. #STL2039

Tags Youth at the CenterOpportunity to ThriveRacial EquityStrengthening Anti-Bias and Cultural CompetencySTL2039
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Tishaura and Ellen – #STL2039

Sharing the visions of St. Louis residents for a future St. Louis—in 2039—where Racial Equity is the reality and what they’re doing to achieve it today. #STL2039

Tags Youth at the CenterOpportunity to ThriveRacial EquityFinancial EmpowermentBuilding a Racial Equity Infrastructure
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Areli and Felipe — #STL2039

This is part of the #STL2039 Action Plan storytelling series in partnership with Humans of St. Louis. Areli Reyes:  I’m a DACA student and really passionate about seeing change for Brown and Black bodies out here because there are so many injustices that we’re facing. I went to a college fair and met somebody from…

Tags Youth at the CenterEducationEnhancing College Access and AffordabilityLatinx
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Kayla

The Finesse Center started because I didn’t really know what else to do. After my brother passed, one of my friends from Webster University was like, “Hey, I have someone that wants to donate money. Where should they donate?” I was like, “I don’t know. To the family?” And they said, “You know what? We’re…

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Karishma

I, quite honestly, was kind of terrified. I knew my comfort zone was solidly in the area of numbers, and analytics, and modeling in statistics and data sets. Secondary data means you’re not actually in front of people, gathering information from their mouths, from their lived experiences, and then listening to it being relayed to…

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Jessica

My nine-to-five is with the Social Innovation STL. I am a Community Organizer, so everything I do is based around that. Some of the ways I am connected with Forward Through Ferguson is through my job with the Social Innovation District, but it really started before that as a Community Organizer. The Social Innovation District…

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Julia

My last name is German for “bridge.” I’ve been in St. Louis for almost seven years. I went to SLU because my dad did, then stuck around because St. Louis is my playground and has become my home. My story really goes back to third grade DEAR Time, Drop Everything And Read. Mrs. Smith was…

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Paul

I came to St. Louis six and a half years ago to go to the Brown School and didn’t know anyone in St. Louis ahead of time, but I’d always enjoyed it when I visited from Iowa. I came here to study community development. To me, it didn’t make any sense to go school in…

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Brittini

Have you ever done a service core type thing? You volunteer, you become poor for a year, and then you get placed at different sites. I was placed at our sister organization called VOICE Buffalo. That’s where my work was supposed to be centered. Why organizing? I’m from Chicago and I have probably been engaged…

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De

There is an extreme danger in making gross assumptions about the people who are on the ground, the people who are organizing, and the people who are taking a stance in this movement. A lot of people say that this is a leaderless movement, but I say the opposite. It’s a very leader-full movement because…

Tags Racial EquityInfrastructure
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Amber

When I went back to school for my Master’s degree, I began working part-time at The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis as an education policy intern with five other students. During the second year of the internship program, we all had our umbrella issues we focused on as a group – mostly access for undocumented…

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Perri

One of the things that officers don’t like is when parents use police as a threat to small kids:“If you don’t behave, I’m going to call the police.” Please don’t do that. Don’t make us the bad guy. Some of us do a good enough job with that on our own. Some kids in…

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Phillip

It was cool to see there was this very intentional call for both educators and Black men to show up. It also dovetailed with some conversations I was having with other friends about, “What are we going to do? We have this problematic national administration and I can’t spend my time feeling frustrated about that….

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April

I work at the School District of Clayton at Wydown Middle School and teach 6th and 7th grade. For a long time, I taught history and now I teach literacy. On Tuesdays, I sponsor a club called Social Justice League. I’ve been doing it for maybe four years. It branched out of a seminar I…

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Rasheen

I was born and raised in St. Louis. Even when I travel out of town, I still miss home. Even with all the issues that have transpired over the years, with all the problems, I’m still happy to call it my home because I know it’s going to get better. During Ferguson, being out there…

Tags Youth at the Center
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Trina

It seemed like the perfect life:two kids, picket fence, great career, making money, I’m out in California with Apple. As I neared my 29th birthday, I was just feeling like, “Something is missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but this was not what life is supposed to be about.” I started doing…

Tags Youth at the Center
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Adelaide

Little kids have this project called Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley travels around the country with you and then tells about his adventures. We drove to Florida on spring break. When we came back, my daughter and her classmates put their Flat Stanley’s on the window outside the classroom to the hallway, and made these speech…

Tags Racial EquityCreating and Supporting Spaces to Practice - Learn - Connect - or Engage in Dialogue - Dismantle Racism - and Deconstruct Unconscious Bias
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Duane

I had the best choir teacher at Normandy High School, who is still very well known in the city — Dwayne Buggs. I did not have a choice of where to go to college because of Dwayne. For my last two years, he brought the Morehouse College glee club to the high school to perform….

Tags YouthYouth at the CenterEducation
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Starsky

There are a lot of more usual suspects who could have co-chaired the Commission. It probably made a whole lot better sense to appoint somebody else. But God gave me an opportunity to translate what was going on in the street at the time into the Commission’s work and attempt to do so effectively to…

Tags Racial Equity
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Sharonica

When educational equity and access is framed as a civil rights issue in the context of the disparities that exist in St. Louis, it is imperative that we create a vision for St. Louis education that nurtures and develops our youth, and provides teachers and districts with the appropriate resources they need.

Tags YouthYouth at the CenterEducation
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Bethany

I would say to those frustrated 20-somethings that the best way to get to age 40 is a day at a time. In the frustration and the pain of that day, find one way to say ‘yes’ on purpose. The day-to-day doesn’t have to be about the strain. Just make it through the day. Say…

Tags Youth at the CenterRacial Equity
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“Will We Be Heard?”

As the Commission spoke to youth across the region, we repeatedly heard that our community’s youngest members often feel unheard and disenfranchised. We must include youth in the conversation as we work to shape a better and more equitable region.

Tags YouthYouth at the CenterEducation
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Felicia

We’re at a critical time to make a decision about who and what we are. I was bitter for a long time around this work — nobody listening, not doing the right thing, and continuing the abuses. And I have learned — because it’s been uncovered, because the scab was ripped off, because the blood…

Tags Youth at the CenterRacial Equity
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Summary of Terms – Youth at the Center

A+ Scholarship A Missouri higher education scholarship program that provides scholarship funds to eligible graduates of A+ designated high schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical school, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools. The award is $500 per year with a total potential value over four years of $2,000. Source:Missouri Department…

Tags Youth at the CenterSummary of Terms
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Supporting Career Readiness

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:In a recent survey, in which 50,000 employers were invited to participate and 704 responded, over half of employers across a range of industries who hire recent college graduates reported having trouble finding recent graduates qualified to fill positions at…

Tags Youth at the CenterSupporting Career Readiness
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Providing Quality Early Childhood Education

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:Countless studies have shown that the early years in a child’s life, when the brain develops the most, represent a critically important window of opportunity (Consortium for Longitudinal Studies, 1983). The groundwork for much of what the average person needs…

Tags Youth at the CenterProviding Quality Early Childhood Education
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Monitoring Child Well-being

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:When students drop out of high school, it can significantly impair the quality of their individual lives and the prosperity and competitiveness of the communities in which they live. On average, a high school graduate in Missouri earns $8,109 more each…

Tags Youth at the CenterMonitoring Child WellbeingSupporting the Whole Child
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Increasing Access to Care for Children

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:Families and children with low incomes depend on a patchwork of systems to access coverage that makes healthcare affordable and not all of those who qualify for assistance are accessing the assistance. While public program expansions have increased the number…

Tags Youth at the CenterHealthIncreasing Access to Care
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Ending Childhood Hunger

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:According to Feeding America, the country’s largest food bank system, more than one in five of Missouri’s children (21.6 percent) live in food-insecure households (Feeding America, 2013). Food security “means access by all people at all times to enough food…

Tags Youth at the CenterEnding Childhood HungerEnding Poverty
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Building Safe and Trauma-Informed Environments

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:Each year in the United States approximately five million children experience some form of traumatic experience (National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, 2012). More than two million of these are victims of physical and/or sexual abuse…

Tags Youth at the CenterBuilding Safe and Trauma-Informed Environments
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Fostering Innovation and Organizational Capacity

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:There were 18,584 public charities in Missouri in 2003 (National Center for Charitable Statistics, 2013). This number increased by over 20 percent in 2013 when there were 22,593 public charities in the state. The state was also witness to a…

Tags YouthYouth at the CenterAligning Resources to Foster Innovation and Build Capacity
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Providing Rigorous Primary and Secondary Education

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:High schools that serve predominantly low-income students usually have the least experienced and least qualified teachers, provide limited or no access to school counselors, and offer a less rigorous curriculum than schools that serve primarily affluent students (CLASP, 2015). Roughly…

Tags Youth at the CenterProviding Rigorous Primary and Secondary Education
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Enhancing Auxiliary Services’ Ability to Support Youth

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:Missouri’s Family Support Division assists hundreds of thousands of children and adults each year through the delivery of services such as temporary financial assistance, Medicaid, medical care for pregnant and non-pregnant women, and food stamps (Family Support Division, 2013). Several…

Tags Youth at the CenterEnhancing Auxiliary Services Ability to Support Youth
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Enhancing College Access and Affordability

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:As a New York Times article puts it, “Yes, college is worth it, and it’s not even close. For all the struggles that many young college graduates face, a four-year degree has probably never been more valuable” (Leonhardt, 2014). Studies…

Tags Youth at the CenterEnhancing College Access and Affordability
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Reforming School-Based Discipline

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:In 2011-2012, nearly 3.5 million public school students were suspended out of school at least once (Morgan, et al., 2014). Recent estimates suggest that one in three students will be suspended at some point between kindergarten and 12th grade (Schollenberger,…

Tags Youth at the CenterReforming School-Based Discipline
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Optimizing School Accreditation and Transfers

The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:In January 2013, the Normandy School District in St. Louis County lost its accreditation, joining the Riverview Gardens School District, which lost its accreditation in 2006 (FOCUS St. Louis, 2014). The State Board of Education awards accreditation to districts that…

Tags Youth at the CenterOptimizing School Accreditation and Transfer
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