Be on the lookout for the ONS YLC in your community!
The ONS Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), in partnership with the Center for Justice Innovation (CJI), and the CUNY Intergenerational Change Initiative (ICI) that brings together 65 youth leaders ages 16-22 from 30 NYCHA developments across New York City.
Youth Leadership Council members are positioned as advocates for safety in their communities through leadership and skill development, research, community engagement, and a series of community projects. This initiative is dedicated to supporting and amplifying youth voices to achieve youth-determined social justice and policy change on a citywide and community level.
Youth Decide How To Invest $65k In Their Community!
Through analyzing community-centered discussions, research, and youth-identified community/policy issues, ONS Youth Leadership Council members create a ballot of potential Action Plan projects to address their communities’ priorities. These ballots are then presented to a larger group of youth in their communities to capture their votes and voices in determining which project the Council will use $65,000 to implement. Lookout for this year’s 2023 ballot!
Youth Take Action!
After votes gathered during our participatory budgeting process are tallied, the project with the most votes is selected as their Action Plan project. Youth Council members then transition into project planning where they continue to discuss parameters and feasibility, refer to existing research, partner with local organizations and vendors to inform the project’s implementation. After scoping the project, YLC members mobilize to engage community stakeholders to be a part of the implementation.
2021 Project: Youth Council members launched mobile Mental Health Awareness pop-up events to inform youth about self-care practices, and stress/trauma management, provide them with a mental health toolkit, and connect them to local service providers in the city.
2022 Project: Youth Council members launched a series of Community Clean-Up events in NYCHA communities throughout the city that identified litter and debris as a pressing concern. The Clean Up events compensated over 200 young people for their community stewardship and facilitated intergenerational participation across sites.
Network With Youth In Your Community!
The ONS Youth Leadership Council’s Youth Policy Summit is an annual public forum that invites youth from across the city, local organizations, and policymakers to discuss the progression of Youth Council-supported initiatives. Attendees hear directly from Youth Council members on their work throughout the program, network with peers and organizational partners, and engage in discussions to increase community participation and collaboration.