Concentrate to launch program spotlighting youth perspectives on Washtenaw County

This summer, Concentrate will bring you Washtenaw County youth's perspective on their communities, as told through their own writing and art.

Through a new program called Voices of Youth, we've been working with local youth to create content on the issues that are important to them, as well as deploying adult journalists to interview youth on those issues. The heart of this program is an inaugural cohort of 12 Washtenaw County middle and high schoolers, who joined Concentrate staff in April for two workshops to kick off the program. Concentrate staff held a listening session to identify issues of interest to the youth, which ranged from racism to gun violence to mental health. Youth participated in a series of workshops that introduced them to how to use writing, art, and social media to cover those issues in their communities.

Since then, the youth participants have been working with Concentrate staff mentors to create journalistic feature stories, poetry, illustrations, videos, and more. We'll be sharing their work with you in Concentrate over the next several weeks. The youth will be paid for their efforts, just as our professional journalists are. In addition to their work, we'll also run three stories by adult journalists, featuring youth sources discussing the topics identified in our listening session.

We're thrilled with the thoughtful, thorough work our youth participants have done over the past two months, and thankful for their insights on their community. We're excited to start sharing their work with you next week. In the meantime, you can check out the results of the Voices of Youth program facilitated by Model D, our sister publication in Detroit.

Voices of Youth is made possible through the support of these community partners: Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Eastern Michigan University, Elevation Youth Corp., Formula 734, Upward Bound, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, and Washtenaw My Brother's Keeper.
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