Education is one of the sectors with as many stakeholders as actors; and though students are the most impacted by education issues and changes, they are often missing from the conversation.
As the 2023-24 school year kicks off in districts across Colorado, we wanted to shine a light on how several learner-facing organizations empower and amplify student voices in important issues at the local and state level.
Read more about a few of the impactful organizations across our state that are uplifting student perspectives and experiences:
Colorado Youth Congress
The Colorado Youth Congress is dedicated to equipping young individuals from various backgrounds with the skills to drive systemic change. The nonprofit organization brings together high school students from urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout Colorado, irrespective of their racial, socioeconomic, and political affiliations, to foster a sense of community. These students come together to gain insights into the intricacies of effecting change in a multifaceted landscape. Last year Colorado Succeeds partnered with CYC students to conduct student focus groups around postsecondary readiness and student engagement in legislation. More on this project here and learn more about Colorado Youth Congress on their website.
Ednium: The Alumni Collective
Ednium is an action–focused coalition of Denver Public School alumni mobilizing to change how Denver educates and re-invests in its homegrown talent. Through its Leadership Launchpad program, Ednium provides a space for DPS alumni to build personal and professional skills and expand their social infrastructure, while solving issues and making tangible changes to the system. The coalition has successfully added financial literacy to the district‘’s graduation requirements and continues to incorporate alumni perspectives to better DPS student experiences. Learn more about Ednium here.
YAASPA: Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism
Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA) is a nonprofit organization that provides a conduit for youth of color to become civically engaged in their communities and careers. In addition to their programmatic work, YAASPA partners with organizations to collaboratively facilitate education advocacy to increase social equity. With the YAASPA experience, youth are cultivated to increase academic and career self-efficacy, self-awareness of racial identity development, civic literacy, and civic engagement. YAASPA will be hosting student-led school board candidate workshops for the Aurora, Cherry Creek, and Denver public school districts. Learn more about YAASPA.
Young Invincibles Rocky Mountain
Founded to amplify youth voices in the healthcare reform debate, Young Invincible has expanded its focus to both higher education and economic security. With the mission to ensure that young people with the least economic and political access have a voice, the organization empowers youth to take action and share their stories through its Young Advocates Program. Every year, a handful of young adults discover the intersection between policy, advocacy, storytelling, and organizing as they learn how to engage policy change to improve their lives and communities. Learn more about Young Invincibles Rocky Mountain.
As we strive to improve our education system, and equitably expand opportunities to all Colorado learners, we must intentionally involve the students in the legislative and decision-making processes. Colorado Succeeds is committed to improving its processes to authentically engage student facing organizations.