Advancing “civic health” – how communities are organized to define and address public issues – requires inclusion of youth voices. The Y’s civic health strategy invests in our work to empower young people – not just as program participants, but as active contributors and stakeholders in decision-making within our organization and civic institutions.
The Y will pave the way for young people to improve the civic health of their communities by cultivating partnerships, expanding youth advocacy, engaging youth voice in leadership and governance, and ensuring equitable access and participation in our youth civic engagement programs.
The Y is partnering with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) to recognize and resource middle and high school educators as Civic Health Champions who will assess and strengthen the civic health of their schools through their sponsorship the Y’s Youth and Government program:
In addition to attending both fall and spring virtual trainings hosted by NCoC and the Y, champions will:
Interested in becoming a Civic Health Champion at your middle or high school? Visit our champions page to learn more and complete the registration process.
As part of their role, Civic Health Champions will facilitate their school’s participation in the Youth Civic Health Survey – inspired by NCOC’s Civic Health Index (CHI) – consisting of indicators adapted from the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Each champion will administer the survey via the online portal above to their Youth and Government participants as well as their school’s overall student body (recommended sample of at least ~100 students depending on the size of your school).
If any parents/guardians have additional questions about their student’s participation in the survey, please share our Letter to Parents/Families, which also provides a link where they can download the full list of Youth Civic Health Survey Indicators (PDF).
The Y is proud to partner with several national organizations supporting our Civic Health efforts, each providing resources, training, and opportunities to our local Ys, staff, volunteers, members, and program participants:
Learn more about each our partners on our Civic Health Partners page, with information on how you can work with them in your school, YMCA, and community.