From the stage to the state Capitol, students in the youTHink program learn how to use art, personal development and politics to influence the changes they want to see in the world. youTHink was created in 1999 by ShareWell, the L.A.-based nonprofit that operates the Zimmer Children’s Museum, in an effort to help students ages 9 to 18 build relationship skills, creativity and critical-thinking skills — especially for social change.
The program offers a wide range of free activities at 50 locations throughout the L.A. area in and out of the public classroom setting, along with college services to assist in creating plans and goals for the future. Students have used theater and filmmaking tools to explore what they love about their community and share ideas for future change.
For public schools, the organization provides social justice lessons for grades four through 12. The lessons integrate the arts and align with Common Core standards. youTHink’s free community programs for students in grades six through 12 include a student ambassador program, youth service events and the Youth in Action/Teens and Government Program. For college-prep services, the organization provides interactive workshops, college visits for students in grades seven through 12 and college application assistance.