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Street Law, Inc.

Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Youth Act!

The Youth Act!® program teaches young people how to advocate for meaningful change in their communities.  Using the advocacy process as a guide, youths design and participate in a community problem-solving project. 

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Street Law’s Youth Act!® program is ideal for groups of young people in school, after-school, and  community settings.  It has been successfully implemented across the U.S. and adapted for international use in Belarus, Egypt, Moldova, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

The Youth Act!® program is typically implemented by teams of volunteers from corporations, law firms, or law schools or via staff from secondary schools or community-based organizations.  Street Law provides comprehensive training, teaching materials, and technical assistance for this fee-based program. Participating groups provide volunteers, a licensing fee, and some supplies and program enhancements. 

The Youth Act!® program appeals to diverse learning styles and abilities and has been used with students ages 13 through 30. The program lays a foundation for young people to make a difference throughout their lives while building important civic engagement skills, including

  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Public speaking
  • Cooperation
  • Coalition building
  • Community problem solving

In addition to the personal benefits of participation, young people participating in Youth Act!® get results! Here are a few examples of community problem solving in action:

  • Advocated to install a stoplight at the entrance to their school by meeting with city council officials
  • Became local experts on homelessness and developed informed and realistic public policy options
  • Improved transportation conditions by successfully advocating for additional bus lines  
  • Testified before state legislative committees in support of pending legislation on graduating licensing
  • Improved conditions and services of a local hospital's emergency room
  • Lobbied local businesses to improve access to work-related training and employment opportunities for young people
  • Used social media to conduct action alert campaigns to encourage community members to contact their elected representatives on pending votes for a gun control law

To learn more about starting a Youth Act!® Program, contact Judy Zimmer

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