VOYCE’s strength and vision has always come from our courageous youth leaders.
VOYCE’s youth development model builds the capacity of young people to:
- Engage as life-long learners, thinking critically about the world around them, and developing a strong racial and social justice analysis of issues impacting their lives, schools, community and city.
- Build strong relationships and common goals across race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
- Learn, practice and develop essential leadership skills such as public speaking, research, critical writing, facilitation, team-building, messaging, meeting and negotiating with public officials, reflection, and strategic thinking.
- Set short- and long-term goals for themselves, successfully transitioning to college and future careers.
Every year, VOYCE engages over 250 youth leaders from across the city of Chicago in its transformative leadership development model, building a multi-racial, city-wide cohort of youth leaders who have the skills and knowledge they need to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and agents of change. Through their campaigns, these 250 youth have impacted the 350,000+ youth from across the city who attend Chicago Public Schools and who are impacted by the policy changes secured by VOYCE.
Since 2007, VOYCE has been preparing students for college and beyond. Almost all VOYCE leaders have gone on to college, many becoming first-generation college students. They are currently majoring in subjects like education, political science and psychology at University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University, Beloit College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.