submission by dakietz

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

Youth Speak Collective

Organization website:


Organization Twitter handle:


Organization Facebook page:


Organization Instagram:


Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization



Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.


We will share the stories of 50 youth across LA to help turn their ideas in action!



We pair up High School students with freelance working professionals to create great videos for nonprofits and businesses.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)


Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


Speak up with us! How can we work together to create positive change in your community? #youthspeakup

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay





We want to present the voices of our future leaders. By 2050, the youth of today will be the generation that inherits Los Angeles. One of them may even be the mayor in 2050. So why are we not listening to them?

We plan to film 50 young people across LA and develop 50 solution stories. These short films will be shown in nontraditional and traditional settings in communities throughout Los Angeles. These stories will inspire others to follow their passion and be the difference they want to see in their community. Viewers of these short films can learn from these stories and in turn new partnerships will form because of this candid and powerful form of sharing solutions.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?


We plan to work with our team of students and mentors to film these stories across Los Angeles. We have broken up the yearlong project into four stages, outlined below.

Story Outreach (2 months)
• Brainstorm with team, mentors and partners.
• Create outreach strategy and implement outreach campaign and story website to collect stories across Los Angeles.
• Create criteria for story selection and clear format for filming, editing and the interview process.
• Visit elected offices, neighborhood councils, nonprofits and community centers to present on our mission and vision to document inspiring stories from our young people.
• Select 50 individuals evenly spread out across the five main regions of Los Angeles (South LA, East LA, Central LA, West Side and Valley)

Filming (6 months)
• Arrange film times with the young people to be interviewed.
• Partner with local nonprofits to schedule interview locations.
• Film stories

Editing (2 months)
• Edit all footage
• Meet with interviewees again if necessary
• Complete all 50 two minute films

Community Outreach (2 months)
• Arrange film screenings as conversations in local community locations.
• Arrange larger film screening in an open location (like Grand Park) in Central Los Angeles.
• Film screenings would allow youth and participants the opportunity to speak up after each film screening. We plan for break out conversations around the topics the stories evoke.



It is our belief that young people have a need to give input and speak up. In the last years we have seen this in the students we work with and the staff on our team. When given the opportunity, they have the drive and ability to surprise us with amazing ideas. Through genuine listening and authentic conversation we can tap into the fresh outlook and wisdom of youth in our currently estranged communities. The guidance and mentorship of invested, caring adults can help transform Los Angeles into a socially connected, civically active community.

The program enables students to share a powerful story, an example of how they plan to be the change they see in their community. Young people will be able share how they give back and inspire others to step up in volunteer roles in their community, schools and city. Sharing stories among the community, residents create the type of human connections that play an important role in civic engagement, emotional intelligence and self-confidence we need to succeed and create a more connected LA.

Our project will create a more engaged generation across Los Angeles and develop a line of stories that bind our experiences and commitment to give back. Once we present the stories in the communities they were born, the stories will be connected to others and potential partnerships will form.

By the simple act of documenting stories and listening to each other we also see our project impacting our society at 2050. These films will remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people and creating a culture of understanding in our higher risk communities in Los Angeles.

Every movement of change needs a spark. These videos will create the spark. The film screenings will fan this energy and create conversations between people that will spread and continue for years. In the long run impacting the individual telling the story and the people who heard their story.

Each story will answer the questions: What legacy do they want to leave in their community? How do they see LA in 2050 if we all volunteered our time? How do they currently make an impact in their community? These videos could be the first step towards creating the impact that we need to transform our community.



Our project will benefit a variety of groups. First, the individual. The person who tells the story will be valued and listened to. Their story and ideas will be viewed by thousands. Through this message their own experiences will be honored and they will be empowered to continue their efforts in the community. These short videos will give young students a platform not only to find their voice, but to let that voice be heard across LA. By sharing their story, these students will become more confident in themselves, more empathetic towards their peers, and more committed to their community. These students will inspire others by the simple act of telling their story and sharing their solution ideas for an issue in their community.

Second, the individuals who hear the story will be engaged with the message and will be encouraged to find a way to partner with the storyteller. Through our film screening sessions we hope to inspire new partnerships and collaborative efforts through these stories and films.

Our Youth Speak Media Solutions team of students and mentors will also benefit from this project as they will experience the stories first hand during the time of production. Our team of students also become inspired to give back to their communities after capturing such powerful stories and witnessing the positive work organizations are doing across Los Angeles.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


We would love to partner with you! As a nonprofit we have worked with groups across Los Angeles, and we would love to hear from new young people and groups making an impact in LA.

Currently we plan to work with and actively collaborate with the following nonprofit and business partners: Youth Justice Coalition, The Hub LA, New Leaders Council, Proyecto Pastoral, Boys and Girls Club of Venice, and Unusual Suspects Theatre Company. We plan to reach out to other established and grassroots organizations throughout Los Angeles in our target communities once the campaign is funded.

We hope to partner also with various marketing firms, public relation organizations and media outlets to communicate these stories to as broad of an audience as possible. Some of which include, MTA that could showcase these short films in bus routes across Los Angeles. We currently have media partnerships with LATV, CNN, NBC, Junker Wagner Marketing, Media Image Public Relations and AK Design Strategies.

Once funded we will also partner with civic leaders in our target communities along with local neighborhood councils and the elected council members in that district. We know that by partnering with elected leaders in local, city and state levels we can create conversations both at the community and policy levels to really affect change and give an avenue for the students solutions and voice.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "CONNECT" metrics?

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located within a half-mile of transit) (Dream Metric)

Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open street gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)


Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

Our project has both an immediate and long-term impact in Los Angeles. The 50 individuals initially involved in the program will feel an immediate social connectedness to each other and their community.

The 50 films that are developed through the power of social media and community film screenings can have an impact that we estimate to hit 100,000 people. This inter-generational relationship building will make a powerful impact across generations. The young people sharing their stories will empower professionals to connect themselves to local nonprofits, become civically active and volunteer with community groups. The students through the filming and screening process will find adult allies that actually listen and care about what they have to say and contribute. To give voice is to give a stake in the public discourse, and that is what our project with Youth Speak Media Solutions intends to do.

The participants in the film screenings and discussion will be inspired to volunteer more or become more involved in local government. As young stakeholders, students will become more civic-minded, attend more volunteer events and be motivated to simply vote in order to get their voice heard. With involvement of many community partners throughout the process, we are breathing new life into a city where citizen’s care and neighbors talk to each other.

The students we interview are the individuals that others follow. If they set a good example and affect change in their social spheres, a domino effect of social awareness, civic engagement, and increased volunteerism among Los Angelenos city-wide is possible.


LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

LA is the best place to PLAY



Outcome #1: The majority of students involved in the filming of their stories will have reported increased self-awareness and social awareness. These young people (ages 16-24) will have expressed greater ambition and motivation to succeed, specifically in their community in the City of Los Angeles.

Outcome #2: Eighty percent of participants in the community screening should feel a desire to be more civic-minded. Through the viewing of these impact stories, participants will be engaged and inspired through the films and facilitated conversation after film screenings.

Outcome #3: In the course of the year following the creation of the films and screenings, the community that was specifically engaged (example: Boyle Heights, not entire East Los Angeles) will see a 20% increase in civic engagement. This will be measured by voting rates at neighborhood council elections, participants in major volunteer events in community and intern/volunteer rates at local nonprofits.

Outcome #4: A coalition of individuals and nonprofits across Los Angeles would be created to tackle some of the issues that have been heard through the videos. This network would start to meet on a regular basis soon after the screenings.



The first lesson we have learned in the process of becoming a youth-driven nonprofit, is to listen. This has been an acquired skill that we continue to grow in as staff and mentors to the students in our programs. As adults we can easily dismiss the youth in our community, but we have learned to listen and take their ideas and help put them into action. Many of our programs are an example of the youth speaking up about issues in their community and creating a solution that is supporting by civic leaders.

The second lesson we have learned is about the power of media and the way in which today’s youth utilize it. Young people today incorporate media into their lives in almost a minute to minute basis. It is immediately accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is the medium in which our youth of today inform one another and themselves. Media, movies and phones have taken over our modes of communication and we have learned to utilize the strengths of our students and staff.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.


We believe we have laid out achievable goals. We have a team of 20 students and 5 mentors that can juggle an average of 6 jobs a week that would allow us to engage 50 individuals within the time allowed. We have learned as creative professionals to be organized with our work load, having priorities each week and setting benchmarks for our progress.

As a program of the nonprofit, Youth Speak Collective we have an additional team of staff, boardmembers and advisory council members that will assist in our planning, outreach and development of our program goals.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?


We anticipate two main challenges within this proposal. The first is the amount of individuals that we will be working with and the scheduling of time and the details that this will encompass. With so many stories to tell we will be working with our students schedules, our mentors work schedules and the individual’s schedules. We plan to allocate a portion of the funding to be able to hire and designate one point person for this project. In film terms this would be our Producer. Our strategy for making a smoother storytelling and editing process we plan on having one specific person do the communication with the young people telling their stories.

The second challenge that we foresee is related to the concise telling of stories. In order to make an effective film that people would watch online we believe that all stories should be under two minutes each. In order to do this more effectively we plan to reach out to our public relations and marketing partners who can work with us pro bono to assist in some branding and outreach techniques to help people tell their story more efficiently and really explain their solution in a manner that makes an impact.


Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

8 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Media solutions has paved the way for many young people to go down the path of film and photography. Keep up the good work. Good luck!

by mateo.jaguar
over 1 year ago

This needs to happen!

by yorsh_del
over 1 year ago

As an advocate for our youth and an individual in the front-line among these young people, I see all the wonderfully creative ideas they come up with. This project sounds great in theory- I can only imagine the outcome. I can't wait to see it actually implemented and see the end results along with the impact it will generate within our community. This may very well be the beginning of something BIGGER! There is strength in numbers. Anyways, hope y'all win!

by JackQ
over 1 year ago

Youth Speak has really directed me towards the career I want to choose. I've been on the team for about a year and it has change my life since. This would be a project that I would be looking forward to in order to make a change in our community.

by SaulXVera
over 1 year ago

Speak up!

by dakietz
over 1 year ago

I'm looking forward to seeing this project come alive! Such a great idea!

by MargaritaBM
over 1 year ago

Normally we tend to assume we know best! What a great idea! Lets ask the next generation what it is they need.

by alana.miller818
over 1 year ago

Youth Speak Collective! What a great organization, I'm very happy to vote for this non-profit organization doing great for the community of San Fernando. Good luck YSC!

by A_SalinasValdez
over 1 year ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
Special Olympics World Games 2015
Special Olympics World Games 2015

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014