Innovations for Youth (i4Y)
Innovations for Youth seeks to improve equity and wellbeing for youth locally and worldwide through catalyzing innovative interventions, practices, and policies, and by building interdisciplinary partnerships between faculty, students, adolescents, and community collaborators.
Our vision is a world in which all adolescents have access to the structures of opportunity and are free from barriers to fulfill their greatest potential.
Our approach is to build partnerships between faculty from diverse fields, students and trainees at UC Berkeley with adolescents and community collaborators. We develop, evaluate and diffuse innovative interventions, practices, and policies. This includes pursuing projects within our four initiative areas as well as in training and mentorship. Our current work includes:
- Engage in community-partnered science
- Promote Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) through the YPAR hub
- Integrate quantitative, qualitative, and participatory approaches
- Study the effects of the social determinants of health on the health and wellbeing of marginalized youth
- Collaborate with community stakeholders to pilot, evaluate and disseminate structural interventions that address youth inequities in real-world settings
- Sponsor the Ending Youth Homelessness Catalyst Group at UC Berkeley
- Provide evidence on what type of interventions will provide long-lasting benefits to reproductive outcomes though Child Marriage and Youth Empowerment Group research briefs.
- Inform the development of new policies targeting youth transition to adulthood
- Organize on-campus speaker series
We are embarking on creating an innovative and rigorous center for community-partnered science rooted in our local communities - the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Using a research-practice partnership model (RPP) we aim to make UC Berkeley a global leader in training the next generation of leaders in conducting community-collaborative research to improve youth wellbeing.
Our RPP models leverage academic networks with practiced based partners, such as school districts, to improve the outcomes of young people across multiple contexts such as education, health, and careers. RPPs are long-term engagements that seek to build mutualistic relationships between community-based partners and research institutions, for the aim of transforming systems practice and improving outcomes. While most RPPs are primarily focused on education, we are looking to build upon interdisciplinary cross-cutting research, as we know the lives of young people are multifaceted and that solutions to ending youth inequalities require multiple sectors working together.
In line with key signature initiatives in the 2018 Berkeley Draft Strategic Plan that emphasize enhanced undergraduate experiences, i4Y has launched the Youth Equity Scholars Program (YES) for undergraduate student researchers who support research on adolescent health and wellbeing, and partner with community organizations through i4Y’s Research Practice Partnerships (RPPs). YES scholars:
- Participate in workshops to discuss critical concepts in research
- Cultivate professional skills
- Develop supportive and empowering peer and mentor relationships.