Carlow University's Youth Media Advocacy Project helps city school students make a difference in their schools.
Marketing and Communications
For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations
April 24, 2017
Projects at Brashear, Perry, Westinghouse, and Manchester Academic Charter School
Pittsburgh, Pa. – This year, high school and middle school students across the city have learned that it is possible to make a difference in their schools and communities thanks to the Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP) at Carlow University.
Pittsburgh Public high school students from Brashear, Perry, and Westinghouse, as well as middle school students from Manchester Academic Charter School, worked alongside Carlow University student mentors to propose initiatives that would benefit their fellow students or communities. The projects at the schools are:
Manchester Academic Charter School
Group 1 – 7th and 8th graders propose to plant a “tranquility garden” for Earth Day to provide peace for students and their North Side community.
Group 2 – 6th and 7th graders are proposing to provide support to students who are grieving across Pittsburgh. Using the moniker, #griefrelief, they will present coping methods to other students.
Having clean restrooms is the topic for this group. They have identified this as a health issue and targeted awareness and culture as major issues for helping them achieve their goals. They plan to speak to 9th grade health classes about the importance of keeping the restrooms clean.
Group 1 – This group recognized that students are not completing homework or getting high scores on homework or tests and proposed implementing a study hall into the school day at Perry.
Group 2 – Students in this group would like to improve their lunch experience. They participated in a cooking demo and talked with Community Kitchen Pittsburgh’s Project Lunch Tray to learn to learn how much food can be purchased with $10, as well as basics of food preparation and storage. They are working to increase healthier options, decrease lunch lines, and make their fellow students healthier.
Group 1 – A community clean up day was proposed for April 21, with the idea that engaging people in physically picking up trash around the school’s neighborhood might build a sense of ownership and buy-in among students and residents.
Group 2 – Clean restrooms are also on the agenda for Westinghouse. Students have continued the work from last semester and have hung posters promoting keeping the restrooms clean.
Group 3 – Students in this group identified the need for greater awareness of African-American culture in their school, and, to that end, have started a student newspaper for student input and ongoing communication. They hope to publish and distribute a newspaper before the end of the year.
Group 4 – A group of students identified community violence as an issue, raised $200 for The Center for Victims, and presented a check to representatives of the center on April 7.
On Friday, April 28, 2017, all of the students involved in YMAP will come together at Carlow’s St. Agnes Center, located on Fifth Avenue between the intersections with Craft Avenue and Robinson Street, for a presentation and celebration of their ideas and accomplishments during this academic year. The schedule for the day is as follows:
8:30 – 9 a.m. – Student buses arrive
9 – 9:30 a.m. – Welcome and opening session with talk by Tyra Good of Pittsburgh Urban Teachers Corps.
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. – Poster Session/Presentations
11:15 – Noon – Lunch and networking
Noon – 1 p.m. – Wrap up, campus tours, and depart for respective schools.
For more information about YMAP, please visit www.carlow.edu/YMAP_Youth_Media.aspx.
Editor’s Note: The news media is welcome to come to Carlow University on April 28 to cover the YMAP poster presentations and celebration with the students from Brashear, Perry, Westinghouse, and Manchester Academic Charter School. Please contact Drew Wilson on his cell phone (412) 260-6807 to arrange convenient, free parking.
About the Youth Media Advocacy Project
The Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP) empowers teens to express their own voices, particularly on education reform and improving the school environment, through the identification and analysis of problems and the creation and distribution of media to advocate for change. YMAP links youth organizing, pedagogy, and media advocacy to support youth to create positive change in their schools and communities.
Media advocacy is a powerful tool for focusing public and institutional attention on problems and potential solutions. Students network with community leaders and professionals, research problems, create powerful media content and distribute through social media and mainstream news sources. Most importantly, they create changes in their schools and communities.
YMAP began at Carlow University in January 2010 supported by a grant from The Heinz Endowments Education Program. YMAP has evolved to become a collaborative effort of three organizations: Carlow University, Saturday Light Brigade Radio, Inc., and The Consortium for Public Education.
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change. Carlow’s eleven athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.