YouthCAST Junior Ambassadors

YouthCAST was established in McKeesport to assist youth, families, communities, and schools in meeting the educational, social and emotional needs of children grades 6-12. YouthCAST utilizes participatory action strategies, such as the implementation of a youth leadership curriculum, exploratory learning, and civic engagement activities to produce transformative change throughout the City of McKeesport. Leadership Network, an auxiliary component of YouthCAST, is committed to youth-led leadership, enabling adult leaders to support youth in their community and school. This support embraces the logic that youth can influence their own behavior and some aspects of peer behavior, and coalesces into positive involvement in the many aspects of home, school, and community.

Grounded and YouthCAST partnered to implement a youth-driven model to reclaim vacant land. Grounded staff worked with YouthCAST to develop training and educational materials, including teacher guides, program modules, and power points, in support of environmental stewardship training. The program culminated in YouthCAST students designing a vacant lot project in the community that benefited and related to the environmental programming.