The YMCA Youth Institute provides an afterschool youth development program at the San Luis Obispo County YMCA to integrate technology into literacy, media arts, career development, and civic engagement projects for academic success. Middle School youth start this program during the summer to work through team-building and diversity-awareness exercises, and participate in a further intensive technology program during the year. Through an application process, participants are selected to enroll in the institute and become "middle school alumni" once they graduate from the summer program. They then participate in the after school program all through their middle school years.
• To embody principles of youth development/engagement that lead youth towards academic success
• To guide youth in developing academic, career-oriented, and technology skills through a program model framework for service-learning and project-based learning
One of the students' collaborations is a Youth Institute Magazine. Others create video productions, some examples are located here on our website. The film, "The Do-It-All Remote," by Ant Farm Productions, was recently awarded a first prize trophy at the 1st Annual Youth Institute National Film Festival in Long Beach for "Best Film" in the Middle School category!