Amplifying youth engagement and voices in our community.
Youth on the edge of greatness
Youth on the Edge of Greatness (YOE) is the Eastside Community Network's oldest program, operating since 1985. The purpose of YOE is to garner youth voice in our community planning process. YOE focuses on community service, community planning skills, and leadership skills. There is also a focus on career and college readiness - highlighting creative jobs - through both vocational and college paths.
The VAULT Teen Center
The Vault is a teen center located in our headquarters at 4401 Conner St (between Warren and Mack). The center provides our youth with a safe space to socialize, learn and interact with each other. Our youth's commitment to maintaining The Vault as a safe space for their peers is evidenced by their mission statement:
To be a safe, chill-able space where teens are empowered to use their voice to create a positive community that fosters leadership and inspiration.
Teen Advisory council
The Vault is guided by our Teen Advisory Council (TAC) - a 12-15 member group that began meeting in October 2016. TAC officers meet once a month to provide feedback and ideas for The Vault programming and activities. These youth are also involved in other ECN led community planning and leadership building activities.
Terry Edwards - President
Stephon Hornton - Vice President
Destiny Gray - Secretary
Diamond Gray - Town Crier
Jessica Dodge - Public Relations
Kareem Powell - Treasurer
Starting in February 2019, our Teen Advisory Council (TAC) began to hold monthly meetings for teens in the community. On the 2nd Friday of each month, the TAC hosts a Teen Advisory Group meeting and invites youth and youth groups from our area.
These events were planned and facilitated by the youth from conception to advertising to conducting the meeting. They have covered a number of topics including: School Policy, Teen Mental Health, and Sex and Healthy Relationships.
These meetings will be suspended for the summer and return to the Vault Teen Center in October 2019!
Job training and workforce development are essential for our youth. Through strategic partnerships with Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, we provide summer employment to youth on the Lower Eastside. Over 6 weeks, youth gain job experiences and are trained in job readiness, internet safety, etiquette, team building, and financial literacy.
This summer youth will learn and earn in jobs focused on the following industry areas:
Coding & Web Design
Wednesday Night Cooking
On Wednesdays, the Vault teens meet together to cook a meal and have a family-style dinner. During these cooking nights we work on new cooking techniques and teach each our old family favorites.
The Vault is winding down from its spring programming, where youth had a chance to explore various creative vocations through a 12-week program. The youth worked with four professionals in their field to the learn skills, business methods, and certification processes needed in their selected field of study. We are especially proud of this program - it was funded by a grant from the Community Foundation off Southeast Michigan and was written by the Teen Advisory Council.
Community Development Speaker Series
Eastside Community Network is partnering with Southeastern High School again this school year to host a Community Development Speaker Series for a sophomore class every Friday. Speakers will have conversations with the class about methods of community-building, and help students identify and plan a project to tackle issues in their community that concern them using those methods. Speakers this year will include Barb Martin, SpeakRoc and Edythe Ford.