Facebook’s Youth Activation Summit Asks: How We Can Empower Young People to Solve Local Problems?

Jakobi, an 11th grader from the Metropolitan Learning Center in Hartford, had a transformative experience when he attended Facebook’s Youth Activation Summit in April.  

“It was a life-changing experience working with kids from all across the country,” Jakobi says of the summit. “I felt we left with a newfound motivation backed by adults really wishing to push our ideas. These workshops taught me that youth is the now, and the now is what makes our future. If we’re going to make change we must do it today, adults and youth together.”

The purpose of the Youth Activation Summit, hosted at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA on April 26-27, was to bring together a diverse community of stakeholders to accelerate the impact of young people. By supporting Youth Activation, we can create the next generation of leaders and empower students to solve problems and strengthen their own communities.

Youth Activation Summit attendees included youth leaders, teachers and administrators, nonprofits, funders, researchers and other stakeholders. They hoped to share their collective expertise in order to answer the question: How do we support Youth Activation work going forward?

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Education Investments Officer Jacqueline Coleman attended the summit along with the superintendent and district-level staff members from CREC, Jakobi and another student from the Academy of Science and Innovation.

“The aha moment for us was realizing the importance of youth voice as part of our Family, School and Community Partnership work,” Coleman said after attending the event. “It was an incredible learning opportunity to hear from other national stakeholders as well as some bright and dedicated young students.”

Coleman is featured along with other summit attendees in a short video titled “What is Youth Activation?” The video was created by Student Voice, a student-run nonprofit organization that helps students take action on issues that impact their education. 




The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $720 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888. 


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