Amplifying Youth Voice & Acting on it

Students and youth have a voice. Much of the time, however, their voices are drowned out by adults at schools, in their families and in the broader community.   Why do we fail as a society to hear those… Read More

Giving Permission: The First Step to Youth Empowerment

While visiting one of our partner schools in Detroit I had a small epiphany.   The group is starting a student advisory, a group of students who are undertaking projects and initiatives of their own choosing, to help support… Read More

Talk Differently: Youth Development vs. Education

“You talk differently to students than we do”. This is what a teacher recently told one of my Neutral Zone colleagues who was visiting their school in preparation for our student engagement work. I mused reflecting on this… Read More

Why Can’t Students Write on the Walls at School?

I always find it a little depressing when I step into a high school and there is not a single student poster, flier or work of creativity hanging in the halls. This is true in a vast majority… Read More

Uncommon Core: What a Bunch of Teens Can Teach Schools about What they Want in School

For nearly all of our 16 year history, Neutral Zone has been engaging teens in unique literary arts programs, starting with VOLUME – our weekly and summer youth poetry project and weekly Short Story Writing workshops.   In these… Read More

YDS in the News!

Check out YDS in the News! Youth Today, July 2014. Youth Today article on YDS MASA Leader (Michigan Association of School Administrators) “Engaging Students in Meaningful Roles to Support School Reform” –  Winter 2014.   MASA Article on YDS in… Read More