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Youth Engagement Strategy

Launch date: December 2015 End date: N/A

The youth engagement strategy, with support from the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, creates a structure for engaging youth as part of youth violence prevention efforts. It provides opportunities for youth to infuse their voice in NOLA FOR LIFE programming, and it will partner with youth on the implementation of violence prevention initiatives. 

Examples include:

  • Youth Violence Prevention Summit – A  biannual summit to engage youth and community leaders around key issues affecting youth violence in New Orleans 
  • Youth-Police Dialogues – Structured dialogues between youth and police officers to break down stereotypes and communication barriers, while building mutual respect and understanding
  • Youth Violence Prevention Institute – A leadership development series for youth culminating in a violence prevention project

Why part of murder reduction strategy

When young people tackle a specific issue or social problem, their ideas and energy can contribute to improved outcomes related to that issue or problem. It is important for young people to have an influential role in shaping the policies and programs that impact them.

Risk/protective factors addressed: Low levels of community participation; involvement in prosocial activities; membership in peer groups that do not condone antisocial behavior

Performance indicators and results

Initiative partners

Summit Planning Committee: 

  • Organizations: Up2Us Sports, School Health Connection, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, Cities United, Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Communities in Schools, NORDC, Center for Restorative Approaches, Wholey Living Simply Living 
  • Individuals: Jakita Allen, Patrick Anderson, Ashana Bigard, Avery Brewton, Kiksha Constantine, Amari Foy (Youth), Samantha Francois, Joseph Guthridge (Youth), Jazzmyne Howard (Youth), Guenevere Hoy, Ernest Johnson, Mwende Katwiwa, Kareem Kennedy, Kimbrielle (Youth), Shayne Latter, Joshua Montrel (Youth), Nana Anoa Nantambu, Greg Rattler, Krystal Sugulleh, Daniel W. (Youth), Luella Williams, Leonard Zanders, Tom Zolot

Joshua Montrel – Student at New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School

In the summer of 2015 I took an internship at City Hall, working in the Health Department on the NOLA FOR LIFE Youth Engagement Strategy. Taking this internship was one of the best decisions of my life. It gave me an opportunity to help others throughout the New Orleans community. By working there I was able to help plan the Youth Summit, tackling one of the biggest issues in New Orleans – violence, and more specifically its impact on youth. The idea that a TEENAGER could sit at a table with New Orleans service providers and actually help contribute in making a difference in the city was mind blowing. This internship granted me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will not forget and that has contributed greatly to my future.

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