"This summer was one of the most empowering experiences I have had because I was surrounded by individuals who believe that young people can change the world."
"I was extremely impressed with the balance of power between the staff and participants at the University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia (UCCP). The facilitators and participants treated each other as equals, which greatly reflected UCCP's message of promoting youth voice and building youth leadership. Compared to most youth organizations I have been affiliated with, the UCCP was one of the few that stayed true to its belief in the power of youth by providing them with space and resources to advocate for changes they want to see.
"The most challenging experience at my internship site was trying to maintain a relationship with my peers while working in the office. I had two roles while working at the UCCP, as an office intern and as a group facilitator. It was hard trying to stay connected to my peer facilitators when I couldn't be a part of the class every day. However, I was able to form really great relationships with all of the participants and staff despite my split time. This summer confirmed that I do want to continue to work with organizations that empower youth and become a teacher."
Note: Brittney's internship was a result of her participation in the Bryn Mawr College Summer of Service 2009 program, a funded opportunity for students to live, serve and learn together in the Bryn Mawr community.
The University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia (UCCP) aims to prepare and support youth and young adults to become confident, effective leaders and collaborates with organizations to create cultures that value and integrate the contributions of youth, thereby building stronger communities. UCCP carries out its mission through programming, capacity building and applied research activities. Programming is designed to develop the critical thinking and leadership skills of youth so that they can become agents of social change in their communities and beyond. Capacity building is focused on helping other organizations to incorporate youth into their decision-making processes. UCCP's research is aimed at informing practice in the areas of youth leadership development, university-community collaboration and civic engagement.