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NYC Youth Speaks

NYC Youth Speaks–a partnership between NYC Speaks and New York City’s Department of Education–was designed to bring together NYC public school students and young people across the city to inform the policies and priorities of the new administration.

As 21% of NYC’s population, input from young people about their communities, the issues they face, and the future of the city is essential. 

NYC Youth Speaks Survey

NYC Youth Speaks followed a similar process to NYC Speaks to deeply engage students in the future of NYC, teach about City government’s role and powers, and ensure young people are heard. The first phase of this initiative was a citywide survey that sought input from young people on topics like education, transportation, housing, climate change, public safety, arts & culture, and racial equity.

In addition to the survey, NYC Youth Speaks engaged young people in community discussions about the data. The data gathered was analyzed with the NYC Speaks data and used to collaborate with Mayor Adams’ administration to create a blueprint for the future of the city, complete with concrete priorities, policies, and budget items.

Youth Survey Results

18,400 New Yorkers ages 14 to 17 took the NYC Youth Speaks survey. Find out what young New Yorkers think about education, safety, climate, health, and everything in between by exploring our NYC Youth Speaks Data Dashboard.

Community Conversations

High schoolers across New York City participated in Community Conversations about the policy issues that mattered most to them. Conversations utilized the NYC Speaks facilitation guides and materials to analyze the survey results, share their personal stories, and come up with solutions that respond to them. This included 35 NYC Youth Speaks Ambassadors who were trained in facilitation and hosted at least two Community Conversations each, contributing to 44 Community Conversations overall led by high school students. 

“Create a platform for students to make an impact to be heard and to be seen”

Students at Union Square Academy

When asked what would make the biggest impact in their community

“The NYC Department of Education is excited to partner with NYC Speaks on ‘NYC Youth Speaks’, an integrated but unique component designed to directly engage our young people on their thoughts and ideas to make New York City an even better place.”

David C. Banks

Schools’ Chancellor

“The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has prioritized giving youth a place at the table—whether through civic engagement in our funded programs, getting young people to vote, or by amplifying their voice through our NYC Youth Agenda and Youth Town Halls. DYCD is proud to join forces with NYC Youth Speaks and DOE in providing this very important platform to give younger New Yorkers a say in the future of their City.”

Bill Chong

DYCD Commissioner

“NYC Speaks is one of the most meaningful initiatives that I participated in throughout my professional career. It has forever changed me and the way I engage with students. I was able to work on NYC Youth Speaks from start to finish. I organized over 20 youth conversations. The students felt empowered because it gave them the opportunity to be transparent and honest about what affects them and offered viable solutions. The initiative created a bridge between the DOE central offices and our schools, but even most importantly, with the students themselves.  I believe we should continue to create opportunities for our students to be engaged, invite them to the table and include them in the resolution process.”

Melissa Cisco, Esq.

NYC Department of Education, Director of Communication and Special Projects

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