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Collaborative for Youth Voice and Leadership

What is the Collaborative for Youth Voice and Leadership?



The Collaborative for Youth Voice and Leadership (CVYL) is a community-engaged, multidisciplinary initiative that aims to strengthen and increase local implementation of youth voice and leadership practices through training, professional development, and technical assistance. Youth voice and leadership practices involve young people in identifying, understanding and addressing social problems through advisory boards, youth-adult partnerships, youth-led programming, and awareness-building or advocacy activities. CYVL brings together university and community stakeholders to coordinate and advance a training and technical assistance agenda targeting barriers to uptake in the field.

Examples of topics that CYVL can help your organization address include:

  • Becoming an adult ally to young people
  • Facilitating youth-led research, evaluation, and program planning
  • Overcoming adultism in policy and practice
  • Addressing challenges in youth engagement
  • Establishing youth advisory boards
  • Strengthening youth-adult partnerships

For more information, please contact us at:

Affiliated Faculty and Student Scholarship

  • Yolanda (Yoli) Anyon, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Kim Bender, Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Jonah Dechants, Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Hava Gordon, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Gender and Women's Study Program
  • Stephen Haag, Associate Professor, Daniels College of Business
  • Cynthia Hazel, Professor, Morgridge College of Education
  • Heather Kennedy, Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Nicole Nicotera, Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Stephanie Nisle, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Alicia Saxe, Doctoral Candidate, Morgridge College of Education

Videos from Affiliated Faculty and Students

ted talk

  • Ted Talk on Adultism - A talk by PhD candidate Heather Kennedy about the idea of adultism and how it impacts youth voice

Asking for Change - A photovoice project with youth experiencing homelessness.



Videos Created by Young People in Affiliated Youth Voice Programs

  • Immigration - from the YELL program at the Bridge project

Community Partners and Other Relevant Organizations

  • Colorado 9 to 25 - a statewide network of individuals and organizations with a shared vision to create a future in which all youth ages 9 to 25 are safe, healthy, educated, connected, and contributing

Bridge Project

  • Youth on Board - a youth-led, adult supported program based in Boston where young people of color have the space and tools to recognize and utilize the power they hold to dismantle political and economic structures that reinforce inequity
  • Project Voyce - a Denver-based organization that develops transformational leaders in underrepresented communities by training, employing, and organizing youth to address root causes of inequity
  • Youth Roots - a Denver-based program that engages high school students in personal development, community partnerships and innovative ventures to foster leadership, integrity and social action
  • Padres y Jovenes Unidos - a multi-issue organization led by youth and adults of color who work for educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights and quality healthcare for all

Youth Voice Tools, Curricula, and Training Resources

  • Youth-Led Action Research (YPAR) Curricula - Activities to facilitate youth involvement in research, evaluation, and program planning:
  • Community organizing – Activities to support critical thinking and engagement in social change


Last Updated: May 18, 2018