We have five key principles for how we authentically work alongside and in true partnership with youth: Youth-Driven Programming; Youth-Adult Partnerships; Employment; Education; and Empowerment.

Our goal is to create spaces for youth to:

  • Be the expert and the learner. They are invited to explore their own identity and passions, encouraged to better understand the identities and experiences of their peers, and empowered to engage in advocacy and decision making based on their collective stories.
  • Learn new concepts, develop career and life skills, form meaningful and healthy relationships, and impact positive changes in their community.
  • Feel welcome regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, ability, size, family life, and/or religion.
  • Acknowledge the value of their unique contributions within a diverse team as they collectively work toward a mission and vision much larger than themselves.
  • Know that their unique voice, experiences, and perspective matters.
  • Be compensated for their time and efforts.
“The beauty of this model is that we set high expectations for youth but provide them with the support needed so they cannot fail. It’s a job, but it’s a fun job!”
- PATCH Coordinator