- YWCA Rock County Racial Justice Conference, a community leader in advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion. Specific opportunities include attending the conference, collaborating with the marketing subcommittee.
- Allies of Native Nations, a community organization working to elevate the voices and experiences of First Nations. Specific opportunities include creating and maintaining social media communication.
- Diversity Action Team, a community organization that provides educational opportunities in Rock County. Monthly programs are for teens and adults. Registration is available at our events https://www.facebook.com/uwextrock. Specific opportunities include participating on the program committee and/or presenting on the monthly program that features youth. Here is a link to resources from our 2022 youth led program.
Silence Speaks-Youth Feedback https://padlet.com/efconway/vlac00i0v3400hak
Silence Speaks-Adult Feedback https://padlet.com/efconway/4ofmjvbz1fvu6g5e
Many initiatives exist in Rock County that are looking to increase youth leadership and youth voice to increase the benefit of community solutions. Some opportunities for participation are:
- Sexual Violence and Prevention (Community Coalition led by JM4C)
- Mental Health (Community Health Priority determined by Health Equity Alliance of Rock County)
- Nutrition-Collaboration with our FoodWIse program and the School District of Beloit’s Unaccompanied Youth Graduation Coach
It is important for youth to work in partnership with adults to create educational opportunities and programs in our community. Currently, Rock County is developing two examples of this partnership.
Juntos means “Together” Juntos unites the community to provide Latino/a students (8-12th grade) and their parents with knowledge, skills, and resources to achieve high school graduation. The Juntos program brings together cohorts of 8th-grade youth and their families to support each other and prepare together for higher education.
What do parents say? Because of Juntos. . .
“We plan to have better communication with our son, better communication with his teachers, and to check his homework.”
“Because of my participation in the Juntos program, I feel better able to ask for help for my child.”
“I feel better able to find information to help my child get to college.”
What do students say? Because of Juntos. . .
“I talk to my parents about my grades and important work.”
“I am setting goals.”
“ I try to spend more time with my family and let them know more about me.”
A new program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives youth in three Wisconsin counties the chance to work with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension to explore post-high school educational and work opportunities. The USDA’s Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) program awarded $640,000 to the UW-Madison Division of Extension and North Carolina Agricultural &Technical University to launch the program Nia: Pathways and Purpose for the Future. The program will focus on serving youth in Waukesha, Rock, and Kenosha Counties – three urban and suburban counties where Black, indigenous, and youth of color often experience disparities in transitioning from high school to success in college, careers, and the adult world. Nia will also serve youth in limited-income rural communities in North Carolina.
“In youth development, there is a lack of culturally relevant, evidence-based programs that give youth who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) the chance to explore their post-high school pathways while developing their cultural identities,” said Joe Maldonado, Extension’s Community Youth Development Program Manager. “They often aren’t exposed to all the options that are available to them, including trades and professional programs.”
Rock County partners include the School District of Janesville, School District of Beloit and the Help Yourself Program at Beloit College.