Hive Youth Meet-up

Supporting youth in building continuous learning pathways through stronger engagement with Hive NYC

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The Hive Youth Meet-up (HYM) aims to create the context for young people to develop more connections with the Hive community and affiliated opportunities. With more persistent support, youth can continue to engage in valuable identity and skill-building activities. HYMs are regularly-scheduled youth-oriented gatherings where youth connected to various Hive organizations can gather and hear about each others’ work, develop relationships with other adults and youth in the network, and provide each other with support. By participating in these regular meet-ups, youth share their projects, present related activities, build skills through workshops, and informally create relationships that lead to collaborations.

The Hive Youth Meet-up initiative was designed to develop youth pathways through the creation of informal gatherings, similar to adult meet-ups within the Hive Learning Network. A group of organizations designed the program, with assistance from Hive Research Lab, to benefit youth in seeking opportunities and establishing ties, through a model that included workshops, presentations, brokering and leadership for youth. Hive organizations were invited to participate in different roles such as facilitating workshops, presenting youth work, host the event, planning and connecting youth to the event. As Hive Research Lab’s Youth Trajectories Interim Brief April 2014 indicates, research indicates that youth enrolled in Hive programs, “…lost a major source of support after the Hive NYC program ended, especially in the knowledge building, emotional, and brokering support realms.” This decrease in support may have important implications for the ability of youth to develop robust interest-driven pathways that can lead to successful and meaningful futures. Hive Youth Meet-ups may offer a solution to this problem, filling some of the opportunity gaps within Hive and raising awareness of opportunities that are available across and beyond the Hive Learning Network. Meet-ups also provide a safe space to develop relationships through which youth interests can be sustained and nurtured.

Each HYM event is an opportunity to better refine the HYM Hive model. Hive Research Lab (HRL) supports this endeavor. HRL engaged the planning team in a month-long process of developing clear components of the model as a baseline for future evaluation and iteration. The process entailed brainstorming and refining goals for the meet-up, identifying important “design features” (workshops, youth presentations, time for socializing, etc.), and finally mapping these to the program goals (see diagram below). HYM_DesignLogicMapping

HRL used the developed model to create a formative evaluation plan that includes event observation, surveying, and a post-event debrief session. Results from the evaluation and debrief led to further specifications of goals and model refinements. The first HYM took place at the Beam Center in Brooklyn on a Sunday. A workshop led by a Beam Center facilitator introduced both adults and youth to Python programming using a Raspberry Pi with a camera, youth from the Brooklyn Public Library, Global Kids, and Eyebeam led presentations about projects related to film, game design, and physical computing and Global Kids led a presentation on the Hive Learning Network. At the second meet-up at Hamilton Fish CRC, youth took on critical roles as emcees, introducing participants and leading the meet-up. A youth photographer attended, and a brokering co-ordinator made a short presentation. Attending organizations included Brooklyn College Community Partnership, Kickflip, Computer Resource Centers Parks and Recreation and Global Kids. At the end of each meet-up participants reflected on the model and discussed what could be done differently.

Organizational Impact

Lessons learned from these first meet-ups included the importance of holding meet-ups during the week to facilitate attendance and the value of choosing location and time to attract youth who are already in attendance. The need to develop a set of key messages describing Hive and its value to youth was highlighted, as was the potential of allowing more time during the event to increase brokering opportunities. The project team learned to include an icebreaker at the beginning of the meetup and saw that it set the tone to create environment that encourage socializing and informal networking. The team was also careful in choosing a workshop that fostered social interaction. The workshop in the first meetup was mostly instructional, where the workshop facilitator was talking most of the time and youth were following instructions. For the second meetup, the model was changed and Radio Rookies was asked to facilitate a more interactive workshop. Going forward, the participating organizations continue to examine the way Hive NYC goals are delivered and how young people understand the nature of the network and the opportunities available to them. Because understanding the network, its structure, and its potential can be rather complex, participating organizations continue to iterate how to change the delivery of Hive’s core message for youth.

Lead Organization:
Global Kids

Partner Organizations:
Beam Center , Carnegie Hall , Computer Resource Centers Parks and Rec , Eyebeam , Hive Research Lab

Project Goal:
Connect youth to people and opportunities that help them to continue building their pathways and develop stronger affiliations with Hive organizations.

Project Tags:
Youth Development & Leadership

Project Portfolio