connect / 2020
Changeist: Young people engaging in community
We immerse young people in a 6-month civic action experience, exploring the social justice issues they care most about. Over the next year, we will bring on 15 AmeriCorps members to engage 300 youth across Los Angeles, giving them space on Saturdays to talk about and address our most pressing issues, creating pathways for them to design and nurture a more just society.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Today we are facing many issues in the world: racism, climate change, failing education systems. Over time there has been one group of people who have taken on the status quo and shifted these big issues: young people. Young people are our risk takers and big thinkers. They are the courageous better halves of society, yet they are often overlooked and not given the opportunities they seek out. Changeist mobilizes young people (ages 11-26) from all different walks of life, places them on diverse teams and takes them through a 6-month community-based experience, exploring and taking action on the issues they care most about.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Changeist has been bringing together youth on Saturdays since 2015, working to increase youths’ civic knowledge and personal agency by leveraging diverse team and near-peer mentors, focusing on the building of a critical lens and civic leadership skills, and making connections with agencies leading social justice work and movements.
Our staff’s expertise in youth development, engagement in advocacy, extensive citywide partnerships, and robust use of data makes us uniquely qualified to undertake this work and achieve our goals.
In addition, many of our staff are AmeriCorps alums and have great experience leading teams of AmeriCorps members in the engagement of youth. We believe that providing an AmeriCorps experience (an opportunity to serve your community full-time for 11 months) is both a great way for young adults to gain meaningful skills and ensures our programming remains relevant to the younger generations.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
We are one of nearly 60 other AmeriCorps State programs operating in California and are the only program model that uses service as a strategy to grow civic engagement among youth. Over the course of the year, we connect youth with 70+ LA county agencies to address issues such as Environmental Sustainability, Gender Justice, Housing, Immigration, School-to-Prison Pipeline, and more. Because youth interest is so broad, we’re able to make an impact across issues, make connections between issues, and help older Angelenos see the inherent value of our young neighbors.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We expect to see significant changes in the program’s ten target outcomes in the areas of Character Development, Social Capital, and Sociopolitical Empowerment:
- Diversity Attitudes
- Curiosity & Exploration
- Diverse Social Capital
- Awareness of Social Issues
- Motivation to Make Change
- Sociopolitical ProblemSolving Skills
- Experience Taking Action
- Agent of Change Identity
We conduct formative, mixed methods program evaluation. Our evaluation focus highlights both the program process (i.e. quality of program implementation, youth participants’ program experiences) and program outcomes (i.e. youth participants’ developmental growth and learning).
In addition, we are utilizing a mobile technology to collect information about youth’s real-time experiences during the program. This methodology, called Experience Sampling Method (ESM), signals youth at random points throughout the program day with a brief survey that asks respondents about what they are doing and feeling in that moment. This approach provides us with data on the quality of program implementation and how youth are experiencing and interacting with program components.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Public transit ridership
- Residential segregation
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff