In 2006, the Stuart Foundation published the report, Youth Media: I Exist. I Am Visible. I Matter. Our experience in the youth media field has shown us that engagement, self-confidence, experiential skill building, and learning can intensify rather than end at the completion of the school day. Youth media has a transformational, dynamic, and widespread impact on young people. This work, plus the Foundation’s other investments in experiential learning, helped shaped the Foundation’s thinking in continuing to prioritize youth development principles as part of our new strategy.
The study reviews our three years of work in the field, and the accomplishments and challenges of our youth media grantees. We created the report in part to highlight the work of our grantees, but more so to engender discussion and continued investment in youth media as a powerful tool for positively impacting the lives of young people.
After several years of partnership with youth media organizations, the Stuart Foundation prepared this report on youth media and our experience with five outstanding and dynamic organizations in the field. It also served as the launching pad for our next round of expanded investments, which occurred between 2007 through 2009. Please also visit our Grants Search section of the website to review and find out more about these projects.
Our appreciation for the impact of youth media and its transformational impact on young people was integral to the development of the Foundation’s strategic plan. We are deeply inspired by the experiences we have witnessed in young people who have been encouraged to develop new skills and confidence through their involvement with youth media programs. We have seen that the power of creative media pushes young people to go beyond the probable and envision what is possible, not only for themselves but for their entire generation.
We share the results of this study to bring focus and attention to the benefits of excellence in youth development and to contribute to the understanding of this ever-changing and entrepreneurial field. We also hope that the successes and challenges outlined in this report engender more discussion and investment in youth media as a powerful tool for positively impacting the lives of young people.