The Youth Think Tank Tackles the Question of Youth Employment


Students from the Academy for Software Engineering (AFSE) presented their social media proposal to their Project Mentor, Gregory Rideout, Deputy Prog. Officer of Education and Employment Services for Henry Street Settlement. The students proposed enhancing the social media pages so they were more “youth friendly” by adjusting the look and tone of the pages. They were among four groups in their class who, through various methods were tackling the question of how Henry Street Settlement can attract youth to the organization's various employment services.

Now in their second and third weeks, our Scholars, as a collective Youth Think Tank, visited their Project Mentor’s sites, to present draft proposals. In addition to using social media, students also proposed developing an app and participating in career fairs as a means of reaching youth looking for employment. Regardless of how the message was delivered, the core of what our scholars proposed was using students to reach students. Students as underutilized allies, as agents and partners - not just clients in need of service. If businesses and institutions could see the value of reaching a youth audience, they should see the value in hiring youth to attract their own.

A “Youth Perspective”- one of the core values of inviting youth to the workplace- was the key message that our Scholars took away from their meeting with their Project Mentor. AFSE students and their teacher Kendra Brathwaite, will now go back to their class and begin storyboarding and building out a model to meet the needs of their Project Mentor.

Our scholars bring their ideas together into a final culminating presentation on Friday, August 12. We look forward to their ideas making an impression and making a difference.