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Youth Speaks believes that having knowledge, practice, and confidence in the written and spoken language is essential to the self-empowerment of an individual. We fill a need for creative approaches to literary arts education and literacy development; we believe it is crucial to provide spaces where youth can undergo a process of personal growth and transformation in a program that enriches their educational, professional, artistic and leadership skills.
Founded in 1996, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, and more, Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day and the after-school hours, and conducts numerous publications and youth development programs. All told, Youth Speaks works with 45,000
teens per year in the Bay Area alone, and has created partner programs in 36 cities across the United States.