YouthPower Handbook

for Youth, Families & Staff

Kids Changing Systems vs. Systems Changing Kids

Thank you for your interest in YouthPower

& for letting us get to know your amazing youth!

YouthPower is a program of St. Paul Youth Services

2100 Wilson Avenue, Saint Paul MN 55119

(651) 771-1301 www.spys.org

© 2018 All Rights Reserved  

Table of Contents

ABOUT YOUTHPOWER………………………………………………………………..……………………………….…………..2

OUR VALUES & CODE OF CONDUCT………………………………………………..…………………………….…………….4

ASSESSMENTS………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………….5

ATTENDANCE…………………………………………………………………….………………………………….………………7

DRESS CODE…………………………………………………………………………..…………………………….………………..8

FOOD……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………….9

THE “HUB”.……………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………….10

PHONE USE……………………………………………………………………………….……………………….……………..…..11

READY TO LEARN………………………………………………………………………..…………………….……………………12

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES………………………………………………………………….……………………………………..13

SAFE & SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY………………………………………………………..……………….……………………14

STAFF TRAINING & BEING YOUTHCENTRIC………………………………………...……………….……………………..15

STIPENDS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16

TOOLS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….17

TRANSPORTATION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….18

YOUTHPOWER TIMESHEET & ASSESSMENT………………………………………….…………………………………….19

GUEST SPEAKER GUIDELINES (for reference)……………………………………………..……………………………………..20

ACKNOWLEDGMENT & SIGNATURE OF AGREEMENT……………………………….……………………………….……..22

About YouthPower

YouthPower is a youth-led youth organizing and advocacy hub at St. Paul Youth Services. We offer 6-week paid Leadership Institute sessions for youth who have had negative experiences with public systems (school, health, police, juvenile courts) or experienced personal challenges and who demonstrate personal strength, a commitment to building a strong, safer, supportive community of peers, and passion for community change.

YouthPower participants build and maintain a strong, safer, supportive community, engage in structured projects and activities, and follow a curriculum of Healing & Identity, Exploration & Innovation, and Policy Change. The curriculum includes engaging activities, field trips, self-care exercises, meeting with policymakers, Black history, and more.

At YouthPower the goal is literally to build “youth power” – individually and collectively. Participating youth grow their skills and confidence; strengthen their sense of well-being and individual and cultural identity; build a strong peer community; explore new places and ideas; broaden their sense of what’s possible for their present and future; and have a voice on policies and decisions that impact their lives and the lives of thousands of other Black youth in the East Metro area of Saint Paul and beyond.

Youth are compensated at a livable wage for contributing their time, effort, and expertise – provided they meet all program expectations. At YouthPower we have high expectations and deliver high support. Eligible youth must apply to participate in an 6-week YouthPower Leadership Institute session.

HISTORY

Black youth are experts on their lives, goals, barriers they face but too rarely at the table when decisions are made that impact them the most. YouthPower believes that youth who face the most systemic barriers and discrimination know best what changes are needed to improve their lives.

YouthPower is rooted in our organizational Values (see page 4), among them: act according to the belief that every youth is valuable, amplify youth voice and power to contribute to our community, trust families as loving experts, and make intentional decisions that lead to sustainable change. YouthPower also fills an essential gap since our community offers few opportunities for Black youth to critically and creatively think, build peer connections, take risks, explore interests, relax, have their needs recognized and met, be affirmed for their individuality, and dream of and pursue diverse possibilities for their futures.

YouthPower was launched in 2017 with a Summer Leadership Institute for Black boys and young men. A group of youth from the summer were trained to be co-facilitators – along with professional, trained staff – for the Fall 2017 session, as new participants joined the program. In January 2018, Black girls and young women began their journey at YouthPower in a Leadership Institute program specifically designed with and for them. Through YouthPower, small groups of Black boys and young men and of Black girls and young women are impacting policy change for thousands of Black youth.

ABOUT ST. PAUL YOUTH SERVICES

YouthPower is a program of St. Paul Youth Services (SPYS). Our mission is to improve the community’s collective ability to engage and support all youth. We partner directly with young people to build skills and resources to achieve their goals; guide nonprofits, schools, and public agencies in transforming their practices and cultures to be more youthcentric; and amplify youth voice in public policy – all to achieve measurably more positive and equitable outcomes for our youth. St. Paul Youth Services partners with youth to transform all levels of influence on their lives: organizations, individuals, systems, and policies.

For 45 years, St. Paul Youth Services has disrupted the cradle-to-prison pipeline, through Smart, Fair, and Loving programs that hold youth accountable for mistakes but offer restorative alternatives to suspension and incarceration, so youth can grow up healthy, educated, confident, and free, and with the skills to pursue their dreams. We are not part of the educational or juvenile justice or public health system – we partner with schools, courts, and the country to intervene and provide holistic, culturally-responsive, and loving alternatives to suspension, incarceration, and hospitalization and to partner with youth and their families to achieve their goals.

SPYS recognizes that pushing limits is a healthy part of youth development. It’s how we respond as adults that can dramatically alter the direction of their lives for better or much, much worse. We do not believe withholding education, health, wealth, opportunity, or freedom is an appropriate or effective consequence for our precious young people. And we know it’s possible to hold youth accountable – consistently and equitably – in a way that allows them to grow, thrive, and prosper – and the entire community benefits when that happens. We do this in partnership with schools, the courts, the police, city councils, libraries, and other organizations – helping them adopt positive and effective ways to reduce systemic racism, hold youth accountable, and create the conditions for youth to thrive.

St. Paul Youth Services continues our effective programs AND partners with youth to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline altogether. Through YouthPower, youth in our programs who have had negative experiences with the education, juvenile justice, and other systems come together to grow, learn, heal, connect, create, explore, and use their insights and voices for community change.

YOUTHPOWER SCHEDULE & LOCATION & PHONE NUMBER

During the school-year sessions, youth participants attend 2 weekdays per week from 4-6pm at the YouthPower “Hub,” a youth-designed space at St. Paul Youth Services. In the summer youth meet 3 days per week. Additional days are scheduled from time to time to meet with policymakers, go on field trips, and attend community events. A schedule of planned activities is emailed to all participants and families at the beginning of each month. Metro Transit Go To cards are provided to participating youth to travel from school to YouthPower and then home. St. Paul Youth Services is located at 2100 Wilson Avenue on the east side of Saint Paul, across the street from Sun Ray Library. Call (651) 771-1301 or visit www.spys.org for more information.

Our Values

 

• Act According to Our Belief that Every Young Person Is Valuable

• Recognize Youth Work is Skilled Work

• Demonstrate Shared Vulnerability & Accountability

• Amplify Youth Voice & Power to Contribute to Our Community

• Increase Racial Equity & Inclusion

• Promote High Expectations with High Support

• Make Intentional Decisions to Achieve Sustainable Impact

• Respect Families as Loving Experts

 

St. Paul Youth Services partners exclusively with individuals and organizations who share and demonstrate these values. All of these values are reflected in YouthPower’s Code of Conduct, goals, practices, curriculum, and expectations.

YouthPower Code of Conduct

St. Paul Youth Services’ YouthPower is a voluntary program that depends on high expectations (participation and accountability) from youth and high support (resources, accountability, and transparency) from St. Paul Youth Services. Either party can cease the participation agreement at any time. Youth have been selected to participate due to their personal strengths, passion for community change, and demonstrated commitment to building a safer, supportive, positive community.

All YouthPower participants are expected to demonstrate a high level of participation and respect for themselves, their peers, their environment. They are expected to meet all program participation requirements and expectations, hold one another accountable for maintaining this safer, positive, respectful environment, and to act according to St. Paul Youth Services’ values.

Lack of participation, lack of respect for oneself, others, or the environment will be addressed immediately with consequences (appropriate to the misbehavior) and restorative practices (to make amends), up to and including the loss of stipend for hours in which expectations were not met and dismissal from the program. Specific rules have been created, in partnership with youth, to create a strong, safer, supportive community and achieve the program goals. These rules are NON-NEGOTIABLE: YouthPower participants are expected to follow all of these rules without reminders to remain enrolled in the program.

ASSESSMENTS

WHAT

• YouthPower participants will complete regular assessments – of their growth, effort, and of the program in general – and do quality work on the assessments. See attached Timesheet/Assessment on the following page.

WHY

• YouthPower uses a model of continuous improvement: applying feedback in real-time to make program adjustments and improvements.

• YouthPower depends on foundations and individual donors to operate. To receive funding, we need to demonstrate certain outcomes; the assessments help us measure our progress towards those goals.

• Taking time and creating a routine for self-reflecting (your goal, what you achieved, what you learned, how it changed you, how you impacted others, and how you can improve or share to benefit others, etc.) is an important life habit and skill.

HOW

• Assessments must be completed on a weekly or semi-weekly basis to be eligible for the stipend.

• Youth will complete a variety of additional assessments through written self-reflections, focus groups/facilitated discussions, surveys, and other means.

• The content from these assessments will be used to improve the program, inform funders, and influence policies, and support individual youth goal-setting and growth.

• Confidentiality will be maintained: names will not be used when any of the assessment content is shared with funders, policymakers, the media, or other audiences, or with the public unless approved by the youth.

Name _________________________ Date______

DAY Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri TOTAL

# Hours

Consistent attendance is expected. Advance notice is required for absences.

Stipends will be distributed every other Friday following each two week period of work. Stipends will be based on full participation in YouthPower activities and meeting expectations as outlined in the Code of Conduct.

 By checking this box, I confirm that I have fully participated in all YouthPower activities.

_____ YouthPower Support Staff Initials indicating the accuracy of all information above.

Favorite Experience: ____________________________________________________

Most Challenging Experience: ____________________________________________

1) I ACCOMPLISHED_____________________________________________________

(personal achievement at YouthPower and/or how your work will impact other Black youth)

2) I LEARNED___________________________________________________________

(something about yourself, your culture/community, history, policy change, or the world)

3) I TOOK CARE OF MYSELF BY_____________________________________________

(one way you took care of your mind, body, or spirit)

4) I SHOWED SISTERHOOD

/BROTHERHOOD BY___________________________________________________

(one way you cared for someone else)

5) I SHARED ___________________________with: ____________________________

(something you learned or did at YouthPower) (someone outside of YouthPower)

HOW CAN YOUTHPOWER IMPROVE?

WHAT SHOULD WE • STOP________________ • START________________ • CONTINUE_______________

ATTENDANCE

WHAT

• Attendance is not optional.

• Youth must demonstrate consistent attendance to participate in YouthPower.

WHY

• To achieve community change, each youth’s contributions matter.

• When one youth doesn’t show up, the rest of the group has to do more work.

• The curriculum is planned so each activity builds on the next. Missing days means falling behind.

• We need to regularly practice routines, skills, and critical thinking tools so they become second nature.

• There are limited spots and a waiting list for YouthPower.

HOW

SCHEDULE

• YouthPower currently meets on set dates.

• YouthPower applicants are expected to determine at the start of the session if they are able to consistently attend based on the schedule.

• YouthPower will look for special YouthPower or community activities during the session and add these extra dates to the schedule. Because these special activities will be held outside of the regular Tuesday-Thursday dates, participation is not required, but if youth volunteer for those dates, they do need to follow the Attendance Code of Conduct so we can count on them to be there.

• Schedules are emailed to all participants at the beginning of each month and when there are schedule changes.

ABSENCES

• Youth must alert the designated SPYS Staffmember at least 24 hours in advance of the start time for any EXCUSED absences and prior to the YouthPower start time for emergencies. Excused absences include: family obligations, health issues or medical appointments, academic or homework assignments, employment. SPYS Staff may require a note for medical appointments.

• 2 or more excused absences with notification will be followed by a 1-on-1 Conversation with a Staff member to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences.

• 1 absence without notification will be followed by a 1-on-1 Conversation with a SPYS Staffmember to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences.

• Youth are expected to follow up with staff after absences.

DRESS CODE

WHAT

• YouthPower t-shirts are provided and are required to be worn at all times during YouthPower.

WHY

• Dress code demonstrates unity, community, pride, and power.

• Dress code is a ritual that helps us transition from one activity into another (in this case, into YouthPower mode).

• It shows ourselves and each other that we’re ready to fully engage in YouthPower activities and represent the organization.

• People can judge YouthPower badly/good if dress code is in certain conditions.

HOW

• Each youth is provided with 2 t-shirts.

• Extra t-shirts are available at St. Paul Youth Services; if a youth forgets their t-shirt, they can “rent” one for $5.

• Forgetting a t-shirt 2 or more times will be followed by a 1-on-1 Conversation with a SPYS Staffmember to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences.

• No sagging.

• Proper clothing for weather.

FOOD

WHAT

• Snacks are provided to participating youth.

• Meals are provided when activities are scheduled over lunch or dinner times.

WHY

• We ensure youth are healthy and have their needs met.

• Youth are hungry after school.

• Learning /Critical thinking and engagement is difficult on an empty stomach.

• Sharing a meal is a way to relax and build community.

HOW

• SPYS will provide healthy, filling, and appealing food options.

• Youth have input on food choices.

• SPYS will accommodate dietary needs and preferences.

• A 15-minute snack break is provided at the start of YouthPower. After 15 minutes, each youth must be Ready to Learn: in place and ready to engage in the curriculum.

• Youth may have a second snack after YouthPower (unpaid) if needed before taking the bus home.

• If youth arrive late without telling a SPYS Staffmember, they will have to wait until after YouthPower to have a snack, but if the lateness was expected and SPYS staff were notified, they can get a water and a small snack.

• Snacks and beverages (except water) can only be eaten in the kitchen.

• No eating or drinking outside the kitchen area unless supervised by staff.

• No eating or drinking in the Hub.

• Each youth washes THEIR OWN DISHES and cleans any mess they make in the kitchen: immediately or at the end of each YouthPower session.

• The final 15 minutes of every YouthPower daily schedule is designated for clean up, including the kitchen area.

• Breaking these rules may result in a 1-on-1 Conversation with a SPYS Staffmember to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences though a 1-on-1 conversation sometimes isn’t needed.

THE HUB

WHAT

• The Hub is a designated space for YouthPower activities designed and arranged in partnership with youth and intentionally created to be an affirming, educational, and relaxing space to gather, learn, heal, grow, organize, advocate, and build community and power.

WHY

• Youth programs should be welcoming, affirming, and responsive to all Black youth.

• Having responsibility for creating and maintaining a space creates an opportunity for youth to meet high expectations.

HOW

• YouthPower provides opportunities for youth to co-create the space, arranging areas for specific activities, community building, quiet time, and to accommodate different learning styles.

• Youth have input on the supplies needed to complete their activities.

• Youth display their original work and others’ art that inspires them, such as political posters and inspirational sayings.

• The Hub has a media area with lights and a green screen for filming interviews and staging photos.

• Youth host events, meetings, and celebrations in the Hub.

• Youth regularly give guests tours of the Hub, explaining the history and importance of different aspects of the Hub.

• No eating or drinking in the Hub.

• The final 15 minutes of every YouthPower daily schedule is designated for clean up, including the Hub.

• Breaking these rules may result in a 1-on-1 Conversation with a SPYS Staffmember to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences though a 1-on-1 conversation sometimes isn’t needed.

PHONE USE

WHAT

• All youth should be fully engaged in conversations with NO distractions.

• Phones should only be used on lunch breaks, relaxing time, if permitted, or for emergencies.

WHY

• YouthPower must stay focused and engaged when in group conversations.

• Phone use is not acceptable because of distractions during group time and bonding activities.

• Phones can be useful tools for research, organizing, media, advocacy, connecting, and representation.

HOW

• Phones off or away during bonding activities, group time, and conversations.

• Sometimes YouthPower youth use their phones for projects, research, media access, independent study, and promoting YouthPower on social media. These phone use opportunities must be directed by or approved of by staff.

READY TO LEARN

WHAT

• Youth are expected to fully participate in all planned activities.

• If they are facing barriers to participation, they are responsible for alerting a SPYS Staffmember IMMEDIATELY.

WHY

• YouthPower is about youth driving change. It requires critical thinking, challenging yourselves to take risks and explore different ways of problem solving, compromising and collaborating, and expressing yourselves.

• It is designed to engage each youth’s strengths, perspectives, and learning styles.

• Together the group is able to achieve more together than any one youth could do alone.

• Sometimes youth do experience things that make them feel a certain way that interfere with performance at YouthPower.

HOW

• Youth are expected to engage fully in every activity.

• Youth should be in the right spot, at the right time, engaged, and contributing per the curriculum and schedule.

• Youth should “step up, step back”: contribute and then make space for others to contribute.

• Staff are expected to adapt activities to meet individualized learning styles. Staff will clearly communicate the goals, demonstrate high expectations, and provide high support.

• Youth are expected to self-advocate (ask for help or problem solve), if they don’t understand something, need additional support, or want to suggest an alternative approach to meeting the goal that works for their particular individual or group style.

• Everyone should participate BUT if they have personal problems they should let us or SPYS Staffmember know so they can take time to get ready before engaging in conversation.

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

WHAT

• Youth, staff, and guest speakers are expected to follow the Code of Conduct at all times.

• Youth, staff, and guest speakers who break the Code of Conduct will “restore” using our three- step process called “the ARC of Restorative Justice”:

• Acknowledge Harm – take responsibility for one’s actions and any harm caused

• Repair the Relationship – to oneself, any person(s) harmed, and the YouthPower community

• Commit to Change – identify steps to restore trust and how one will act differently next time

WHY

• YouthPower is about youth well-being first and foremost. YouthPower’s success depends on our collective ability to create safer, supportive community for youth.

• There are few spaces in our community explicitly designed by and for Black youth.

• YouthPower is a Leadership Institute and the expectations are high – both to achieve the goals and earn the stipend.

• We believe in the value of every single young person and in the power of second – and third - chances.

• Everyone makes mistakes. Our Restorative Practices approach is a constructive response to breaking the Code of Conduct to maintain a safer, supportive community and provide opportunities for learning and personal growth.

• “YouthPower” means adults actively seek youth input, amplify youth voices, and respond in real time to youth interests and needs. “YouthPower” does not mean youth have decision-making authority about the program, its staffing, youth participants, or how resources are spent, etc.

HOW

• There are consequences to breaking the Code of Conduct up to and including immediate “release” from YouthPower for the rest of the session.

• Any youth released from YouthPower has the opportunity to rejoin the program based on fulfillment of restorative practices.

• If a youth is released for the remainder of the session, they are able to reapply for a later session and will be considered for based on fulfillment of restorative practices.

• The Restorative Practices model (see the “What” section above will be used. Additional St. Paul Youth Services programs, such as participation in our Diversion program may be required for both youth and their families.

• Staff are required to follow the Code of Conduct with youth and with one another, modeling the behaviors they expect from youth – both high expectations and high support.

• Speakers are required to follow the Code of Conduct and follow specific guidelines (attached at the end of the Handbook) to protect youth and maintain a safer, supportive community.

• Concerns about any youth, speakers, or staff should be raised directly and discreetly with the Lead Staff, Programs Manager, or Executive Director. Staff will look into it and determine if and how to proceed.

SAFETY & SUPPORT

WHAT

• Youth are expected to model and contribute to a strong, safer, supportive community for all.

• Youth take care of themselves and others.

WHY

• YouthPower is about equity, justice, and the value of each and every young person.

• It’s intentionally designed to create an affirming environment where Black youth are free to be their full, diverse, and unique selves.

• Youth are expected to support one another in being their best.

• Conflicts are resolved respectfully and peacefully.

• So unwanted tension doesn’t occur.

HOW

• Youth are required to treat themselves and one another with kindness, respect, understanding, and brotherhood.

• Youth support each other.

• Youth are expected to cooperate to achieve the program goals.

• Every youth’s voice and perspective matters and should be reflected in what YouthPower looks like and YouthPower creates.

• Youth participants have one another’s backs. They don’t talk about other participants. They don’t share anything about other youth that they wouldn’t say directly to them.

• Any instance in which youth or staff witness a negative behavior from one youth towards another will lead to a 1-on-1 Conversation with SPYS Staffmember to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences. Youth conflicts will be addressed through peer mediation.

• Youth are also expected to hold themselves and one another accountable.

• Staff are accountable for modeling this behavior, creating conditions for youth to safely express themselves, work together, achieve their goals, and contribute to a strong, safer, supportive community every day.

• See something, say something. This is not snitching but honoring the YouthPower Code of Conduct.

• Language and actions that could demean, harm, harass, or frighten another person or negatively impact youth or the organization are forbidden. These include but are not limited to:

• Angry or vulgar language including swearing, name-calling or shouting.

• Physical contact with another person in any angry or threatening way.

• Any demonstration of sexual activity or sexual contact with another person.

• Harassment or intimidations by words, gestures, body language or any other menacing behavior or on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/family status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, or age.

• Theft or behavior that results in the destruction of property.

• Carrying or concealing any weapons, devices or objects that may be used as weapons.

• Using or possessing illegal chemicals or alcohol at St. Paul Youth Services or while engaging in YouthPower activities.

• Sharing confidential information or information individuals share about themselves at YouthPower.

• Falsifying documents such as applications, time sheets, reports, etc.

• Use of St. Paul Youth Services equipment or facilities for personal gain.

• Unsafe or inappropriate use of equipment and vehicles.

STAFF TRAINING & BEING YOUTHCENTRIC

WHAT

• YouthPower staff and facilitators will be trained very well on youthcentric approaches and demonstrate skills for positive youth engagement, including high expectations and high support, cultural responsiveness, and conflict resolution.

• YouthPower will be youthcentric.

WHY

• Youth work is skilled work.

• We practice what we preach.

• It is essential that YouthPower is a safer, respectful, engaging, and affirmative space for all Black youth.

• YouthPower should be nothing but positive vibes and everyone should be able to trust each other.

HOW

• Staff involved in YouthPower have specific job descriptions that determine their role and responsibility.

• Staff also follow the SPYS employee handbook.

• St. Paul Youth Services conducts staff training and evaluates staff on these skills.

• All staff will demonstrate skills in youth engagement, high expectations and high support, cultural responsiveness, and conflict resolution.

• All staff will be accountable for ensuring these skills and expectations are met.

• Youth routinely assess YouthPower on youthcentric qualities. SPYS staff responds to youth feedback and lets youth know how their input was addressed.

STIPENDS

WHAT

• Youth are compensated at a living wage through a stipend for their time, effort, and expertise.

WHY

• It’s important for youth to own and control their narratives and intellectual capital/ideas.

• It’s important to control and be compensated for effort and expertise.

• Youth should not be expected to share information, ideas, and efforts on a volunteer basis that professionals are paid to do.

• Youth are not pursuing other opportunities in order to be at YouthPower.

• It’s a way to model our belief in a livable wage.

• It’s important for youth to have access to financial planning tools and information.

• Many youth contribute to their households by paying bills, paying for their school clothes, and saving a portion of their stipends.

HOW

• Timecards must be completed to track hours spent at YouthPower.

• If youth are absent it’s an immediate X on their timecard for the day.

• Youth must ONLY include hours in which they met the requirements and expectations and fully contributed. Youth will check the box attesting that they did so. A staff member will initial the box to confirm if that is true. If it is not true, the staff member will confirm with the youth if it is an error and needs a correction or identify any expectations the youth did not meet and conduct a 1-on-1 Conversation with a SPYS Staff member to determine the cause, apply any restorative practices, and determine appropriate consequences.

• Assessment forms must also be completed to be eligible for the stipend. See Assessment section in the Code of Conduct.

• If youth are absent they should finish their assessment form when they return.

• Stipends will be paid every other week.

• YouthPower will provide training on financial planning and information to youth on financial/money management.

• We recommend youth open a savings account. This will require parent/guardian participation and authorization.

TOOLS

WHAT

• St. Paul Youth Services will provide you with the tools needed to complete activities. These include materials supplies, clear goals and direction, and individualized support.

WHY

• Each young person is unique and has a different way of absorbing, processing, and sharing information. We value that diversity.

• Each youth in the program has demonstrated personal strengths, passion for community change, and a commitment to building a safer, supportive community. These are demonstrated by youth through participation in the activities and being prepared, organized, on-time, and willing to engage.

HOW

• It is an expected that youth have rituals and routines to take care of themselves, the space, and one another, and be in the mindset to engage in YouthPower with minimal direction.

• It is expected that staff have established, practiced, and consistently reinforced these routines so it becomes second nature for youth.

• YouthPower will provide time during the week when youth can put their thoughts together.

TRANSPORTATION

WHAT

• We will provide youth with transportation to and from YouthPower in the form of a Metro Transit Go To card.

• We will arrange transportation to field trips and community events, whether via Metro Transit, a ride sharing service (Uber, Lyft), or a chartered bus.

• We provide parent/guardian transportation to mandatory meetings and celebrations.

WHY

• Providing transportation allows all youth to participate.

• Youth have consistently said that free transportation makes youth programs more fair, equitable, and accessible.

• Youth safety is essential.

HOW

• YouthPower participants will receive a Go To card at the start of the YouthPower session.

• YouthPower will add funding to the Go To cards as needed to cover any additional rides needed for YouthPower activities.

• When ride sharing services like Lyft or Uber are used, a SPYS Staffmember will contact the ride sharing service, arrange the ride, track the route, and confirming the youth have arrived at home.

• Youth should report a lost or stolen Go To card to the designated SPYS Staffmember ASAP so it can be cancelled that the remaining balance transferred to a new card.

• There is no charge for the first Go To card replacement; if it happens twice or more, the youth will be responsible for covering any card replacement costs.

• SPYS Staff members can provide assistance finding efficient transit routes from school to YouthPower and back home.

• Youth are expected to go directly home after YouthPower unless they have another agreement with parents/guardians.

• Sometimes youth need to stay at YouthPower later than 6pm due to the bus schedule; a SPYS Staff member will be present on site until all youth have left for the day. If youth need to leave a few minutes prior to 6pm to catch a bus, they should discuss it with the designated SPYS Staffmember.

Guest Speaker Guidelines

Our Guest Speakers are required to sign and follow these guidelines.

SESSION STANDARDS

Our expectation is that your Youth Engagement Session will be:

• Designed/tailored for the YouthPower participants you’ll be meeting. (Currently Black boys and young men or Black girls and young women ages 13-16. Session size can range from 6-20 youth.)

• Aligned with the YouthPower curriculum of Healing & Identity, Exploration & Innovation, and Policy Change and aligned with our organizational values.

• Interactive and engaging – not just a presentation or open-ended discussion.

• Challenging for youth in terms of sparking critical and creative thinking.

• Intentionally structured and delivered to proactively engage every youth and be suitable for all learning styles.

• Timed to fit within the allotted time amount (typically 75-90 minutes) but able to be condensed and still provide value in less time if needed due to unforeseen circumstances.

• If there’s anything you need to know in advance to better tailor your session, please contact us.

• If any specific supplies, technology, or room arrangements are required for your session, please let us know a minimum of 2 days in advance if possible. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

YOUTH PROTECTIONS

YouthPower is intentionally designed to create a Safer and Supportive Community. Youth follow a strict Code of Conduct (co-created with youth) and St. Paul Youth Services has requirements for Guest Youth Engagement Specialists accordingly. We promote healthy, caring relationships with adults and are excited for youth to connect with and learn from you, but we have strict protocol we require you to follow to ensure youths’ safety.

Guests Youth Engagement Specialists are required to:

• Successfully pass a background check allowing you to work with minors. This must be completed prior to your session.

• Do not provide your personal contact information to YouthPower participants. Any questions from youth following your session should be directed to YouthPower staff who can reach out to you as needed.

• Do not engage in communication or a relationship of any kind with a youth participant outside of YouthPower. If a participant contacts you directly, please forward that communication to us ASAP. If it is determined to be potentially or mutually beneficial (such as a mentoring opportunity), we will provide your info to the parent/guardian to decide whether they want to pursue or allow a relationship with the youth which would be completely separate from St. Paul Youth Services and our YouthPower program. Similarly, do not make or offer to make introductions to or promote a relationship between youth participants and anyone else outside of YouthPower.

• Do not take any photos of YouthPower participants or their work product.

• Do not post any photos of YouthPower participants or their work product on social media without express permission from St. Paul Youth Services. You may link to St. Paul Youth Services’ public posts.

• Do not share any identifying or personal information regarding YouthPower participants with anyone outside of YouthPower.

• Do not have physical contact with YouthPower participants. Youth may have emotional reactions to the content in your session. YouthPower staff will be present to engage the youth and ensure their well-being.

• Do not reproduce any tools, activities, language, or program aspects without express permission from St. Paul Youth Services. YouthPower is trademarked and our work products protected under copyright.

Acknowledgement & Signature of Agreement

By signing, I agree to uphold the Code of Conduct including all of the rules and expectations included on the previous pages, as well as any expectations communicated by St. Paul Youth Services staff during the course of the program, fully participate in all activities, and contribute to a safer, supportive, and positive community. I understand that if I do not, I will face consequences, up to and including the loss of stipend for hours in which expectations were not met and dismissal from the program.

YOUTH NAME (Please Print)___________________________________________________________

YOUTH SIGNATURE:_____________________________________________ DATE _______________

PARENT/GUARDIAN NAME (Please Print):________________________________________________

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE__________________________________ DATE ________________

RELATIONSHIP TO YOUTH:__________________________