YEP Practices


Youth Empowerment Program  PRACTICES

October 2022

Listed below are goals, practices, protocols and curricula included in the Youth Empowerment Program of RMM.

Mission Statement

To stand with rural youth as they work to bring about systemic change and develop their leadership skills through a model of popular education and community-building.


RMM seeks to first meet young leaders through our Summer Overnight Leadership Camp and our Summer Day Programs. In turn, when young leaders reach high school, they are able to seek entrance into our federated year-round youth leadership programs.

Participants in our year-round programs choose two to three systemic issues of injustice that are impacting them, their families and their communities. As they spend the year developing understandings and skills to bring about change in these areas, they will use the medium of their group.  (Those media presently include: Theatre of the Oppressed, podcasts, a workers cooperative and visual & performance arts.)

Core Values of the YEP Program:

  • YEP focuses upon systemic change in response to injustice in rural New York.
  • YEP efforts are educational in approach and seek to help youth develop leadership skills, with a focus on social justice.
  • Youth participants will have control of, and accountability for, the development of their groups.
  • YEP utilizes a participatory educational model.
  • RMM is committed to bringing together its YEP groups from across New York State to build networks of strength and community.
  • YEP programs will be committed to fighting for justice and building skills to help youth become stronger leaders for justice, now and in the future.
  • RMM is committed to connecting to the greater network for justice.
  • YEP programs will utilize the arts as tools for justice.
  • YEP members will understand the wheel of oppression and learn how to dismantle it.
  • YEP members will appreciate the power of working in community.
  • YEP members will honor democracy.

Basic Skills

YEP seeks to help participants develop from among the following basic skills:

  • Networking
  • Public speaking
  • Fundraising
  • Organizing
  • Creative writing
  • Advocacy
  • Strategic planning
  • How to facilitate a meeting
  • How to be an ally
  • Research
  • Tech advocacy (social media)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Debating
  • Analysis
  • College/career prep
  • Financial literacy
  • Event planning
  • Public relations/promotion/ persuasion

Resources in support of YEP

RMM has several resources that we utilize in support of the YEP program, including:

  • Engaging youth within our communities though: events, interactions with congregations, organizations, universities and unions, presentations and trips.
  • College Prep
    • A program to support YEP members in the college application process - utilizing workshops, retreats, and mentors and tutors.
  • Mentorships
    • RMM has a corps of volunteers who support YEP members as they explore careers in social justice, leadership development and other professions.

Available Internships and programs

As a supplement to RMM’s Youth Empowerment Programs, we also seek to link participants to the following programs and organizations: