On June 11, The UC Davis Regional Center of Change held the first of a series called ” Putting Youth On Map”, with youth involved with community engagement work. The workshop taught youth how to use maps and data to help change theIMG_0970 conditions in their communities. It will help the youth have a voice and to be able to back up their voices with maps and data.

There was an array of different youth from different organizations, and different schools, at the event. First, everyone in the workshop introduced themselves. Next, the instructor, Sergio explained to the participants what the workshop was about and what his goals were to the class. One of his goals was that he would train the youth in this workshop so they could go out and be able to train other youth on how to use these tools. Then, the participants were given a survey to fill out. The survey consisted of questions involving their history and familiarity with maps. Next, the participants split up into teams to act out a different scenarios. One scenario was about two families; the Johnsons and another family called the Smiths. The Johnson went to the bank to apply for a loan. The Johnson family had excellent credit, they were hard-working people, but they happened to live in an undesirable neighborhood. Their application was denied. Meanwhile, the Smith family went to the bank to apply for a loan, also. The Smith family had mediocre credit, didn’t have a good history of payback their loans, but they lived in a desired part of town. Their application was approved. This was example called redlining.

” Putting Youth On The Map is important for a number of reasons,” says Beth Hart, co-facilitator of Putting Youth On The Map. “It gives youth tangible skills, so it can be applied to their own work. Our hope with Putting Youth On The Map is that, it can help project that are already existing, and inspire people for existing projects, by looking at the maps seeing where community are in need.”

Learning how to read maps and use the data can help young people change or influence the decisions of politicians. This training gives youth a voice and also, gives them some maps as added fortification.