Community YouthMapping in DuPage County, Illinois
Community YouthMapping (CYM) is a concept that involves young people gathering information in a given locality by locating and documenting “places to go and things to do”. CYM involves young people canvassing neighborhoods block by block, in search of the traditional and non-traditional programs, services, opportunities and caring adults available to them and their peers.
In essence the “YouthMappers” become the enthnographers —
(one who studies and systematically records human cultures)
asking questions from a youth-oriented perspective—providing
insight into the communities in which they live, the culture of
which they are a part, and the other young people with whom
CYM activities provide youth with opportunities for meaningful
participation and skill development in a community development
An adult coordinator will work the youth of Addison and Glendale Heights to map the youth-friendly resources in their communities. The youth will physically survey community landmarks, local businesses, social service/healthcare agencies, and recreation opportunities. This information will be placed in a database and used by the youth and neighborhoods to advocate for needed programs and services and increased business participation in youth development.
Benefits of Community YouthMapping
- Youth will be provided the opportunity to learn about community advocacy, leadership and develop useful soft skills including basic communication and data entry and analysis;
- CYM will help strengthen the community through youth/adult partnerships and bring a greater mutual understanding and respect;
- CYM will identify community assets that can counteract identified risk factors and develop a local comprehensive map for these resources, which in turn will inform other young people and their families about the positive things to do in our communities.
Media Coverage of Pilot Project