Youth Community Action Network (Youth CAN)

Youth Can Sara

Youth Community Action Network (Youth CAN) is a teen leadership group focused on promoting civic engagement and career readiness. Teen leaders meet weekly after school to plan and conduct community improvement projects and build their leadership skills as community change agents. Past projects include: assembling care packages for the homeless and organizing a campaign to address the spread of hate crimes.

In addition to after school meetings, students take part in paid internships over the summer. Past internship sites have included: ACCESS WNY, Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo, Buffalo General Hospital, the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Buffalo Zoo, Center for Elder Law and Justice, Clark Patterson Lee, Clinton Brown Company Architects, Community Action Organization of WNY, Computers for Children, Inc., Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition, Paint the Town, Our Lady of Victory Mercy Nursing Facility, Sisters Hospital, and WNY Minority Media Professionals.

Teens attend 4-H events, including the Erie County Fair and 4-H Capital Days in Albany, New York. Other trips include: Career Explorations at Cornell University and STARR (State Teen Action Representatives Retreat) in Syracuse, New York. Students have also gone on college visits to SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Buffalo State and Canisius College, to name a few.

Youth CAN groups are currently running at Buffalo Public Schools #156 Frederick Law Olmsted and #207 Lafayettte Internationl and Tapestry Charter High School in Buffalo

Youth CAN is part of the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program, Sustainable Community Projects (SCP), 4-H National Headquarters. It is supported by Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie, New York State 4-H and Smith Lever funds from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Last updated July 26, 2019