A mission-driven organization based in Des Moines, Iowa, Community!Youth Concepts (CYC) promotes the use of positive youth development principles and best practices through training and technical assistance and through youth development initiatives.
Formed in 2008 by Amy Ostrander Croll and Lynette Marchant, CYC connects the adults in the community with youth to form avenues of change by developing common ground. CYC helps youth discover their passions and then connects them with adults who have similar interests. We believe that with the right opportunities and supports, anything is possible. We also believe the community, as a whole, needs opportunities to learn and explore together. Because of this, we offer occasional workshops that are adult and youth-friendly opportunities to simply learn from one another.
There is the pervasive belief that simply because adults were once youth, they automatically know how to empower and support them. While the research tells us what best practice is, CYC interprets that research to provide relevance to the youth worker field. It is a firm belief of CYC that not only do we need to provide opportunities to the youth in our community, but we also have to prepare organizations to be open and accepting to the experiences and views of youth in our community. CYC staff are skilled in assessing, delivering trainings, and coaching youth workers to interact with youth in an authentic manner that meets the developmental needs of youth.
When youth are supported and feel confident working with adults and adults are open to the experiences and knowledge of our youth, synergy can happen. It is then that authentic change in our community can, and will, occur.
Change is already occurring. Since our inception, we have seen programs operating at higher levels of quality. Adults and organizations are understanding the role youth can play in our community and creating a space where youth can have that voice.
We invite you in to see how CYC is different and encourage you to think of how you can be part of the change.