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YouthBank exists in the overlap between our Economic Opportunity and Learning and Leadership focus areas.
YouthBank is more than youth-led philanthropy; it’s an opportunity for young people to impact their community, learn new and expand current skills, and promote opportunities for young people to collaborate on building communities for everyone. In partnership with YouthBank International, Youthprise is excited to be bringing this innovative youth philanthropy model to the United States.
Starting with eight pilot sites in 2015, Youthprise is building a statewide network of youth-led grantmaking entities in Minnesota. Together, we are co-creating a US-based approach for replication statewide and beyond.
In Youthbanks around the world, young people engage in a youth-led process to address what they feel to be the most pressing public issues affecting them. As a group, they work to recruit a diverse group of peers, learn necessary skills, conduct research on local community issues facing youth, raise funds, promote a call for grants, interview applicants, issue grants, evaluate the results, celebrate their achievements, and then start this cycle all over again.
YouthBanks create opportunities for diverse young people (14-25 years old) who have an interest in working to improve their community. Some bring experiences as the captains of sports teams, participants of the student council, or in other leadership roles. For others, YouthBank is a new kind of opportunity. All YouthBankers are trained by other young people and adult coaches to build their team, create agendas, facilitate meetings, develop plans, raise funds, conduct interviews, make fair decisions, and evaluate their efforts to improve the community and support other young people to address community youth issues. As the group conducts its work, young people build on their training to rotate through roles as trainers, facilitators, notetakers, timekeepers, encourages, and evaluators. Receiving feedback from peers and coaches, young people continue to grow in each of these roles and develop leadership skills.
YouthBank host sites span across the Twin Cities metro and in Greater Minnesota serving a population that approximately reflects 33% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 33% Latinx, 17% East African, 10% Black, 5% White, and 2% Native American. The YouthBank host sites have anywhere between 4 - 20 young people involved in the design, execution, and evaluation of their grant-making process specific to their community. Each host site has a separate timeline for how they run their YouthBank programs, some organizations follow the school year calendar and others follow the calendar year. We work with two researchers, Alex Fink and Ross Velure Roholt, from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, who are learning partners with Youthprise working on developing, strengthening, and evaluating the YouthBank host sites.
Every YouthBank group follows these 9 Guiding Values:
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