Since 2015, we've provided programming directly to more than 500 children, teens and young adults (and counting!).
All of our youth programs are built on the belief that youth should be active participants in their own development.
We utilize a strengths-based positive youth development framework designed to integrate three protective factors that research has shown to help youth thrive: Positive Relationships between youth and adults and youth and their peers; Clear, fair and high expectations; and Opportunities to navigate, connect and be productive.
Our work is guided by the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets and Developmental Relationship frameworks, which led some of the research on resiliency in the 1990s.
Coined after the Block Captain and Jr. Block Captain roles, the Play Captain Initiative is a workforce development and civic-engagement initiative with the mission to empower and train teens in leadership, playful learning and facilitation to make the Play Streets, playgrounds and neighborhoods of Philadelphia more playful. The program runs year-round with our signature programming taking place during the summer.
Our Play Captains program is award-winning and can be replicated for other Cities. In 2021, the Play Captains was selected as a National Summer Learning Association Excellence in Learning awardee.
In 2021, Rebecca wrote and published a book about the Play Captains, called Yaya Plans a Block Party. It is illustrated by Briana Clarke, a local artist, and also a former Play Captain Supervisor and it features several of our Play Captains.
You can purchase a copy here and you can read a lovely review by Inquirer journalist Helen Ubiñas.
The Safety Captain Initiative is an afterschool job for teens that uses a project based learning approach to answer questions like: What makes a youth friendly neighborhood? What makes a neighborhood safe?
The job includes getting paid to learn about, research and discuss concepts like community, safety, health & wellness. As part of their job, teens will take part in workshops, go on field trips, and will be taught how to conduct community asset mapping, and more! Read this Safety Guide they created for teens in response to Covid-19.
other youth programs
Skills for a Fab Life
How often have you hear an adult say "Kids these days don't know how to...."? Or maybe you are one of those adults who says this. We hear you! That's why we've created a bi-monthly (virtual for now) workshops on a wide range of "adulting 101" skills presented by adults, just like you. We also partner with our teens to serve as hosts and facilitators on various topics.
The Teen Business Lab was
created with Michele Martin
of The Bamboo Project and is designed to be a 6, week
12-seession series of workshops that introduce teens and young adults to entrepreneurship. First piloted in a community center setting, the course can also be modified to fit into a traditional school setting, too. The TBL can be modified or tailored for any group.
We place special emphasis on entrepreneurial thinking and work with teens to plan out a 'side hustle' they can develop while still in school. While we'd love it if every participant walks away ready to start their business, our ultimate goal is to introduce young people to a new way of thinking and provide some basic tools so when they are ready, they have what they need to get started.
Middle School Programming
In Spring of 2016, Fab
Youth Philly was awarded a
grant from The Mayor's
Fund to create and facilitate
a community engagement
project for middle schoolers at the Norris Homes running July 2016-May 2107.
For this middle school project, Fab Youth Philly pulled together a highly talented team of teaching artists, community activists and youth workers, including: Jennie Shanker, Andrea Walls, Alia Hatch, Mary Baxter, Harvey Hicks, Nathan McChristy, Folasshade Laud-Hammond, and Sannii Crespina-Flores.
Video directed and produced by Andrea Walls
Want to know more about our youth programs?
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