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Youth Collaborative

The Takoma Park Youth Development Collaborative is a community wide effort to sustain young people, particularly those at risk, as they transition to adulthood. The Collaborative unites local organizations that work with youth with community members to create a web of resources and relationships focused on youth in Takoma Park and the Long Branch community.

The shared vision for the collaboration centers on five goals:

  • Every young person is prepared for employment.

  • Every young person in Takoma Park has a relationship with a caring adult.

  • Every student receives an education that advances fulfillment of their personal potential.

  • Community-wide collaboration will assist Takoma Park youth in making a successful transition to adulthood.

  • Young people are part of the process of reaching these goals.

The Collaborative was formed in 2014 after a series of community

forums on youth in Takoma Park revealed that too many young

people in our community are not job ready or prepared for higher

education when they turn 18.  CHEER and the Takoma Foundation

convened the Collaborative to highlight this challenge and develop

a unified community response based on research that

shows that place-based, geographically focused, coordinated

initiatives are most likely to have a positive impact on young

people as they become adults.

The Collaborative offers two programs:  first, “The Who Wants to Work Challenge,” a ten week after school program offered each fall to prepare youth for employment with job search, resume writing, and interviewing skills. Second, “The Youth Entrepreneur Program” offered each fall helps youth develop a business idea and shows them what it takes to make that business work.

The Collaborative is led by Brandon Johns, of Making a New United People (MANUP), and Denise Jones, a youth development consultant.  Other partners in the Collaborative include Montgomery College, local business and civic associations, and individual youth and adult volunteers.

The Collaborative uses consent based decision making and will establish a governance process that facilitates participation of youth, and promotes youth-adult partnerships.

Click here to see notes to the "Preparing Youth for Success" event held on June 12, 2014.

Click here to see more on the Collaborative's youth development goals and activities.

The Takoma Park Youth Development Collaborative will bring the collective power of the community to support 12 to 24 year old youth.  Through training, employment opportunities, community activities, and relationships with adults, the collaborative is building a framework of support for young people to help them become engaged community members living fulfilling lives.

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