Maelah Robinson-Castillo

University of Denver - 2023

Collaborating with youth organizations to better engage with the youth they serve.

Major: Molecular Biology and Chemistry

Project: My Puksta Project for this upcoming year will have to be to navigate and guide non-profit organizations and schools on how and what youth engagement is. Also to help them create or guide them on how to start up youth boards or have youth join them in there efforts and missions that are around youth or for youth.

Inspiration: My inspiration on my Puksta Project would experiencing the lack of youth engagement in my hometown school district and how youth didn’t have a voice on issues that matter about them. Also seeing a disconnected between students and teachers. I have also seen a lot of organizations that are supposed to be about youth or for youth efforts in all aspects but they don’t have any youth in their organization. So they are just assuming what youth want, which I believe is not okay at all.

Future Plans: I hope to accomplish on making communities and making youth feel like they matter. Also giving youth opportunities through being involved in youth councils/ youth collaboratives that they feel safe, have someone they feel like is their mentor and be able to advocate for what they believe is right and what they love. Also to see that even one has the purpose to lead and be the change for there community despite their background. For the adults, I hope to see that they find that youth are just humans just like them. And they get to collaborate and see what youth can bring to there organization. But also to support them and create a positive relationship with each youth. In order to create a positive youth engagement environment.