YBN student Anthony and Newark Leadership Academy (NLA) student Briana were among six young people honored by the Newark Trust for Education at its first annual “Trust Your Voice” awards ceremony on January 31, 2013.

Members of the High School Policy Advisory Group (HSPAG), a group of young men and women who are currently or were formerly enrolled in Newark Public Schools (NPS), Anthony and Briana were recognized for their efforts to develop school safety policy recommendations for NPS. For six months, they participated in a series of meetings, co-facilitated by YBN’s Program Director Darrell Price, at the Trust’s Broad Street location. They addressed scheduling, course offerings, school climate and safety and offered feedback to school leaders across NPS comprehensive high schools.

Additional honorees included former and current students from Barringer High School, Fast Track Success Academy, and Luis Muñoz Marin Elementary School.

With service-learning and leadership development core principles of YBN’s youth development approach, participating in the HSPAG is just one example of the many ways in which YBN and NLA students serve their communities. Through the Willing Heart Community Care Center and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, students assist with food collection and distribution to families/individuals in need on a weekly basis. This year, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, YBN students also helped install 54 recycling bins in three of Newark’s parks. The effort that students displayed led the Trust to consider having YBN graduates intern as custodians of parks under their oversight. This role would include assisting with community education toward the holistic use of the Newark’s parks.

The Newark Trust for Education provides support to YouthBuild Newark for its sister school, Newark Leadership Academy (NLA).