The City of Dayton, with Dayton Public Schools, announced today a partnership with local nonprofit Learn to Earn Dayton to facilitate the first-ever vision for the future of Dayton co-created entirely by and for young people. This initiative marks a significant step forward in promoting youth engagement, elevating youth voice, empowering our future leaders, and shaping a better tomorrow for our city.
The Youth Vision for Dayton is a collaborative effort to foster an inclusive and participatory environment where young people will have a prominent role in shaping the priorities, strategies and action steps featured in the plan. By involving students directly in the decision making process, we aspire to create policies and programs that truly reflect their needs and aspirations, and center the power and leadership of making their vision a reality directly with our young leaders.
The effort to draft and formalize a plan centering youth voice sustains the momentum from the Mayor’s Teen Youth Summit. On September 13, 2023, Mayor Jeffrey J. Mims, Jr. announced the initiative at the second annual Summit, encouraging students to use their voice in setting priorities for their own academic and career path and shaping the future of their city.
Mayor Mims expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, “Dayton’s youth may only be 20% of our population, but they are 100% of our future. Their perspectives and ideas are invaluable, and this partnership reflects our commitment to actively involve them in shaping the policies and programs that affect their lives."
Learn to Earn Dayton will facilitate the year-long process and generate a public plan that centers youth voice. Surveys, focus groups, work sessions, and interviews will be conducted to determine a vision for the future, the priority topics to be addressed, and specific strategies to drive Dayton toward the future – all determined by teens. The final plan, with long-term goals and short-term opportunities, will be published on both the City of Dayton and Learn to Earn Dayton websites.
“The priority topics and areas of discussion will all be driven by the youth, as they share their needs, expectations, and aspirations over the course of the year-long process,” said Learn to Earn Dayton CEO Stacy Schweikhart. “Learn to Earn Dayton, the City of Dayton, and Dayton Public Schools all reaffirm our dedication to elevating and amplifying youth voice and leadership.”
For more information about the Youth Voice for Dayton and upcoming events, please contact Maya Dorsey, Director of K12 Strategies at Maya.Dorsey@LearntoEarnDayton.org or Erica Fields, Director of Place-Based Strategies at Erica.Fields@LearntoEarnDayton.org.