In 2017-2019 PRO Youth and Families helped students improve their civic engagement skills through programming like mentoring, advocacy and voter registration. Through our pre and post surveys we found that 79 percent of students improved their civic engagement scores.
For students like, Zyla Castanon, civic engagement is important regardless of what career path you choose.
“My goal is to become a doctor. While I don’t plan to go into local government when I get older, this experience will help me broaden my knowledge that will be helpful in the future as being a citizen.”
Projects like the Civic Center Project (through Summer @ City Hall) students had the opportunity to share their ideas with city leaders in Rancho Cordova.
For Csandra Loren, 16, this project was a unique experience that allowed her to better understand the civic engagement process as well as gain real life skills that would allow her to be college and career ready.
“My favorite moment in Summer @ City Hall was the Civic Center project planning. The pride in responsibilities for influencing the first phase of this project as a youth has made the experience very enjoyable. I developed a profound respect for the people involved in these structural projects in their tenacity and detail for planning and budgeting.”
Besides hands on experience with internships and projects, our students have the opportunity to get involved in their community with programs like mentoring.
69 percent of our students said that PRO helped them get more involved in their community.
For Jackie Hernandez, 16, programs like Summer @ City Hall have given her the opportunity get involved in her community, while preparing for her future.
“I want to become a stronger and bigger advocate for my future community. I also want to be able to help people in the future.”
Not only that, but PRO’s programming, “taught me how to be an advocate in my community. I learned how to voice my opinion without fearing the fact that it may not appease everyone’s own opinion.”
Our programs also leave our youth feeling more hopeful about their futures and their role in their community. 64 percent of our students said that they have the power to make a difference in the community, compared to 33 percent who reported the same on the pre survey.
Kanye Benson, 14, believes that youth voice can help make the community better.
“I think that youth have a different outlook and different perspectives than adults. It’s always better to have different perspectives.”
Isa Abdur Rahim, 13, believes that the voice of youth are very important in helping making community change.
“With youth input, we, the future, can help shape the communities that our children could grow up in.”
Csandra Loreana echoes by saying, “I believe that change starts with each person. By encouraging youth voice, we’re encouraging a breeding ground for change and potential future leaders that will continue to expand and improve the community in the long run.”
For more about PRO Youth and Families’ Civic Engagement work, click here.