Students Make a Difference With YMAP

Drew Wilson -

Carlow University's Youth Media Advocacy Project teaches Pittsburgh Public School students how to advocate for change in their schools and communities using media. Projects are on display at Carlow on Friday, April 26.

a male YMAP participant listens to headphones

High school and middle school students from several Pittsburgh Public Schools will be gathering at Carlow University on Friday, April 26, 2019 to share how participating in the Youth Media Advocacy Project  (YMAP) has made a difference for them.

Over the course of a school year, YMAP (pronounced WHY-MAP) brings Carlow University student mentors alongside students from Brashear, Perry, and Westinghouse High Schools, as well as Manchester Academic Charter School, a middle school, to shape initiatives that the younger students feel is important to benefit their classmates or the community surrounding their school.  

On Friday, April 26, 2019, all of the students who participated in the YMAP program at their respective schools will be at Carlow's St. Agnes Center to present the initiatives that they worked on during the school year.  

Emmai Alaquiva, an Emmy Award-winning film director, photographer and composer will offer the keynote address for the 

There were multiple projects at the schools, and they addressed some heavyweight issues like gun violence, teen mental health, and restorative justice in place of traditional punitive punishments.  A complete listing of the projects is at the end of this release.

The agenda for the day includes:

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Welcome and Keynote

  • Brief Introduction 
    • Jess Gold, Carlow Center for Youth Media Advocacy Program Coordinator
    • Ryan Scott, Carlow Social Justice Institutes Director
  • Welcome - Dr. Sibdas Ghosh, Carlow University Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs 
  • Keynote Address - Emmai Alaquiva, Emmy Award-Winning Producer, Entrepreneur, & Mentor 
  • YMAP Mentor Poster Introduction 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: YMAP Youth Project Showcase

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Lunch and Connecting

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Closing & Student Tours of Carlow

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.

Through YMAP, students network with community leaders and professionals to research problems, create powerful media content, and distribute that content through social media and mainstream news sources.

With support from a grant by The Heinz Endowments Education Program, YMAP began at Carlow in January 2010, and has evolved to become a collaborative effort of three organizations: Carlow, Saturday Light Brigade Radio, Inc., and The Consortium for Public Education. 

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