2010 Children’s Aid Youth Council “Make a Change” Conference

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Speak to a member of The Children’s Aid Society Community Schools Youth Council and you will quickly realize the importance of youth voice in the Bronx and Washington Heights communities.

At the “Make a Change” Conference on Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Animal Cruelty on Tuesday, April 6th, the young people showed they have a lot to say about what they want to change in their communities. They are aware of the problems and are mobilized to create a positive change.

The conference was attended by approximately 100 students and included youth-facilitated workshops on the three topics.

The conference also offered parent workshops on “navigating the teen years” and helping children develop healthy relationships.

The students organized an information fair for attendees, with booths from The Children’s Aid Society Family Wellness and Foster Care Programs, the Mental Health Association, the Census and a youth created petition to fight city budget cuts affecting young people. The conference included dynamic Public Service Announcements directed and acted out by the youth council members, providing their perspective on domestic violence, child abuse and animal cruelty.

The “Make a Change” Conference was educational, empowering and entertaining. Mostly, it was a tribute to what is possible when you help young people take the lead.

Stacy Campo Director, Youth Development Photos by Lily Kesselman for The Children’s Aid Society