YVote is a New York City-based nonprofit that supports youth civic learning and leadership to drive a more productive, inclusive, and informed political culture. It was co-founded in 2017 by young people from dozens of NYC public high schools to address what they saw as one of the biggest barriers to youth involvement in electoral politics and civic spaces—a lack of knowledge and commitment as to “why vote?” and a need to put the “Y” (youth) into voting. While 76% of young people across the country believe their age group has the power to enact change, only 40% of all youth—and only 34% of youth of color—report feeling well-qualified to participate in politics. YVote is working to address this gap to ensure young people—especially those who have been historically disenfranchised—become informed and engaged civic leaders.
YVote engages hundreds of high school students across New York City’s five boroughs and other teens across the country in their free and stipended summer and school-year programs: Monthly Civic Forums, Year Round YVote Change Makers & Summer Change Makers Institute, Democracy Camp, and the NYC Youth Policy Agenda Their work is further amplified through youth media production, including a twice-weekly for-GenZ, by-GenZ blog, The Round Table weekly podcast, and Social Media Creator Corps creating daily social media posts to raise peers’ understanding of political and civic issues. By helping high schoolers connect their passions and beliefs with ways to build power, YVote creates a motivational runway for youth to make change, at and beyond the ballot box.