Supported by the MetLife Foundation, this project helped six cities - Charleston, S.C.; Lakewood, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Lexington, Ky.; Portland, Ore.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. - implement comprehensive plans for children and youth.
In October 2007, the YEF Institute launched the second phase of technical assistance for the MetLife City-Schools Youth Planning Initiative. Over a period of one year, the Institute provided assistance and peer networking opportunities to six cities as they worked to implement children and youth master plans in alignment with local school district efforts.
Both Charleston and Lakewood participated in phase one of the technical assistance initiative, which resulted in the development of their youth master plans. Grand Rapids, Lexington, and Washington, D.C., decided to create or adopt plans in response to various challenges, such as the increased number of youth living in poverty, growing concerns about youth violence and a lack of developmental assets among youth that are essential to their future success. The City of Portland began to implement its Children and Youth Bill of Rights, based on the belief that all members of a community, including youth, have the right to be engaged in decisions that impact their lives.
The YEF Institute worked with cities through individual conference calls, webinars and bi-monthly group conference calls with local team leads, site visits to selected communities to help identify and overcome key challenges, and access to national experts and promising approaches from other cities to help each of the project city teams move forward.