Adobe Youth Voices; Empowering Youth in Undeserved Communitiessince 2006

8th Feb 2012
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AYV

Adobe Youth Voices aims to empower youth in undeserved communities around the globe with real-world experiences and 21st century tools to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potential, and take action in their communities.In conversation with YourStory.in, Goldie Srivastava, Head – Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Adobe India tells us more.

Please tell us about your Project.

Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation's global signature philanthropy program designed to provide youth in undeserved communities with the critical skills they need to become active and engaged members of their communities and the world at large. With a focus on empowering youth, Adobe Youth Voices supports young people in and out of school and encourages the use of cutting-edge multimedia tools to communicate and share their ideas, demonstrate their potential, and take action where they live. Through the AYV program, youth ages 13 to 18 years create compelling videos, animations, photo essays, presentations, music, and other pieces that contribute the essential perspectives of youth to critical topics and inspire new solutions to long-standing problems.

What are some of the guiding principles of this program?

Adobe Youth Voices is a program with three guiding principles: Engage, Enhance, Exhibit

  • Engaging young people in exciting and meaningful new ways. Young people who may have been feeling disengaged learn how to acquire all critically important skills that can help them think creatively, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively to attain a competitive edge in school, their careers, and life.
  • Enhancing educators' skills and resources, the program provides comprehensive professional development in teaching strategies that incorporate cutting-edge digital tools. Those who work with youth can learn new ways to encourage the use of 21st century communication skills in telling stories that make a real impact.
  • Exhibiting participants' work is a key element of the Adobe Youth Voices program. The program provides youth with forums to share their vision and voice for a public purpose — via travelling art exhibits, film screenings, festivals, Internet, publications and through other local and global venues. 

How does the entire process work?

Below is a quick snapshot of the entire process followed by the AYV program in India for a given year:

  • Selection of government schools & NGOs: AYV implementation partner, American India Foundation identifies and begins selection process of government schools and NGOs
  • Orientation for Educators: Educators from the new schools/NGOs are taken through the orientation process
  • Identify key issues for media projects: The students and teachers come together to identify key issues they would like to base their media projects on like short documentaries/films.
  • Rough Cut Review : An opportunity for participants to showcase projects in progress and receive feedback from peers and media artists to improve their projects and prepare for final revisions.
  • Year-end Showcase: Govt. Schools/NGOs come together in Delhi and Bangalore to showcase their final work in the form of short documentaries and films
  • AYV Global Summit (Once in two years): The top documentaries/films from students are selected to be showcased at the AYV Global Summit in the US. Students accompanied by their teachers from over 20-25 countries come together to share best practices and learn from each other.

When was this launched?

The program was launched in June 2006 and it is now into its seventh year.

Where did you come up with first working model?

The program was first simultaneously launched in United States,UK and India. In India, the program was first launched in the Delhi-NCR region and then Bangalore.

How has the response been so far?

Since 2006, Adobe Youth Voices has engaged 150,000 youth and 8200 educators. Adobe Youth Voices currently includes 750+ participating sites in 50 countries. This includes over 50 sites in India. We have had very encouraging response to the program so far. In fact, last year we announced the expansion of the program to 2016 and have set a goal of reaching 1,000,000 youth and 50,000 educators by 2016, when the program reaches its 10 year mark. InIndia, the program will reach out to nearly 10000 children across the country by that time-frame.

Who are the various stakeholders involved in the process?

The three key stakeholders we look at addressing through this program are: the schools/NGOs, where this program runs, second are the teachers who are involved in this program and finally the students/youth that undergo this program. For each of these stakeholders group, we have clearly defined impact goals that we try and achieve.

Do you monetize? How do you sustain yourselves?

This is a pure not-for-profit program run as part of Adobe’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. The Adobe Foundation invests nearly US$8 million per year in the Adobe Youth Voices program, primarily through training, educational resources, and grants.

Feeling of being a NSIH Finalist?

It is an absolute honor and privilege to be selected as an NSIH finalist. We find ourselves in the company of those doing equally incredible work towards the greater good of society. We are extremely delighted to see our efforts being recognized in the country’s premier program for honouring social innovation.

How do you think NSIH will make a difference in your growth?

Being recognized by NSIH certainly means a lot to us and needless to say it only encourages us further to continue doing the good work that we have been doing through Adobe Youth Voices program. We feel even more motivated and charged up to bring about positive changes to the lives of hundreds and thousands of youth that we are working with in the country.

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