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A Call to Action: A Global Youth Empowerment Society (YES)
by Gary Goldman and Allen Schmieder

Against the backdrop of the events of September 11, 2001, it is more imperative than ever that our nation dramatically steps up its global involvement and world leadership. Stirred to action by these despicable acts, we have an obligation to respond rapidly and powerfully in the most positive way possible--and that is to intimately show the world's people how wonderful is the way of life in America and so many other enlightened nations around the world. We must clearly identify and widely share the fantastic contributions of every nation to civilization and the quality of life--the highest in history--that most of the world's people now enjoy. But most important, we must also seek to provide "poor" nations with the resources and know-how needed to overcome their current desperate situations and attain the quality of life that will ensure an end to the seeds of terrorism in those disadvantaged places.

Of all of the resources that can be brought to bear on this dream of hope for all nations and every person, none is so abundant and powerful as the world's children. Many good initiatives have blossomed over the years, directed at improving the communication and welfare of the world's youth. And we owe an immeasurable gratitude of debt to those bold pioneers. But we must now find ways to build on the work of these remarkable pathfinders and raise our children to a central place on the world stage of peaceful community building and economic development. For decades, educational and political leaders everywhere have poignantly stated, "our youth are the most powerful cornerstone of our future."

The future is now. We must immediately, especially through technology and real time global communication, seek new and successful ways to make youth full partners in our quest to build a peaceful and bountiful future for all of the world's children and families. We have two remarkable miracles now available to us--in every nation, every community, every place: hundreds of millions of young people who have been proven to be far more adept at using the new technologies than adults (the first time in history that youth know better than adults-- the most important lever for economic development); and the World Wide Web which will enable the kind of communication necessary to effectively and quickly share new resources and build the kind of youth to youth, community to community, nation to nation cooperation and affection that the world has only been able to dream about throughout human history.

It's time for this nation to model this revolution by involving and empowering every young person in America to make significant contributions to energizing their own lives and spearheading the revitalization of their schools, neighborhoods and communities. As a nation we must engage our young people in addressing the issues that most concern them in their lives, their communities and the world around them by joining with others, as full partners, in action to create change.

Inner city schools and many of the neighborhoods and communities in which they exist are near the bottom of the economic opportunity scale and those involved are generally cynical about reversing the situation. What America has failed to realize is that these schools and neighborhoods have a rich supply of the most valuable and potentially powerful technology resources in the world-- their students! As we show the way to unleash these powerful resources in this country, we will show the way to do the same around the globe.

To accelerate the achievement of this golden promise, we are gathering a group of some of the nation's most extraordinary educational and community leaders to develop a strategy for achieving a "Youth Empowerment Society" (YES!) directed at slamming shut the "Digital Divide" and in the process, launching K-12 inner city and other at-risk students into the Millennium world of cutting edge technology and financial entrepreneurship. Our goal is to enlist students, schools, parents, community organizations, foundations, business partners, and government agencies nationwide in building one of the most powerful and uplifting initiatives ever undertaken on behalf of our nation's youth- -and in the process energize our urban economies with the unlimited potential and inventive genius of over 50 million school students.

The organizers of this initiative, Gary Goldman, Allen Schmeider, Dwain Kyles, Donna Gaines, and Fred Blocton feel strongly that one of the surest ways to motivate, retain and inspire inner city students (as well as other youth) is to prepare them for leadership and economic security in our technology-centered world of free enterprise. We seek to unite all those marvelous entities already serving youth in promoting the development of a collective technology and educational enterprise that will be unparalleled in human history! It is our belief that the challenge of preparing an enlightened next generation of leaders is at the center of the world's long term health, safety and well being.

YES proposes a virtual society, utilizing three key components: one, the power of the World Wide Web's virtual architecture; second, a proven, common sense approach to community building, centered in youth involvement and collaborative problem-solving (Youth-Centered Community Collaboratives); and third, the final component - the often untapped human resource (i.e. knowledge, leadership, skills, and energy) of America's youth. More specifically, the goal of the Youth-Centered Community Collaboratives (YC3), as an integral part of YES, is to build stronger relationships between youth and youth, and youth and adults. It utilizes resources within the school and community to create a positive environment that results in increased youth social and academic success, and healthier and safer communities for all. Special emphasis is placed on seeing all our youth as learners, teachers, and problems solvers--powerful resources for uplifting the quality of life here and abroad.

YES will help young people to lead projects and establish their own mark in society. It is truly an opportunity for kids to lead kids with adults acting as facilitators and guides along the way. Through our ongoing "high-tech" and "high-touch" integrative approach YES offers them the environment to flourish and build important relationships with other youth and the adults in their lives. The beauty of this program is that ALL young people are eligible to "play." Every child from any walk of life has the opportunity to achieve and succeed! This initiative is for all kids, from the underprivileged to the so-called "at-risk" to the "high achieving." In almost every major reform effort in the past, there have clearly been "haves" and "have nots." The playing field has never been equal. All students have the capacity to become technology whizzes--we need only to give them access to the abundance of the worldwide web and its related technologies--and they will excel!

As part of our development of YES, youth participants from urban, suburban and rural communities were interviewed during several focus groups/forums. Several said, "If I had the power to change the world, I would." Other youth suggested they would initiate various forms of civic engagement. Some of their contributions include: reading books to younger students, creating career related activities for other youth in their community, beautifying their schools through building enhancement projects, meeting with law enforcement or their city government agencies to discuss their ideas on improving the communities. Once again, youth demonstrate their interest in civic and community leadership. YES will assist America's youth and youth worldwide in achieving their goals of becoming full partners in Millennium efforts to provide a high quality of life for all of the world's citizens.

In designing the YES, we compared the difference between the senior citizens before and after the advent of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Prior to someone figuring out how to refocus the needs of the discontents, energy and resources of our senior population, most of their concerns fell on deaf ears. Once they were organized, however, their opinions and desires became some of the most influential in our nation's system of government. We want to do reach a similar goal with our young people: help them organize into a united and powerful group that will dramatically raise their self-esteem, launch them into a positive career path, and provide America and the world with a powerful and almost infinite new resource.

We see ourselves as a vital partner with established youth-focused organizations and programs, and are committed to creating a powerful collaboration with these youth advocates. If we can effectively re-orient our thinking to be inspired by the collective ideas and potential contributions of our youth, we can significantly enhance the effectiveness of each of these organizations in the communities in which they serve. Imagine the synergistic effect of such a movement!

This is an immense wake-up call for this nation and the world TO TAKE ACTION. We cannot return to "business as usual." Our young people will be the major players in our future, and must be included in any vision of how to build that future. Let our children become the peace ambassadors for healing the world.

We are inviting the entire educational community to hold this vision of creating a unified global youth initiative in order to bring our planet into a place of peace and prosperity for all. We must include our future, our young generation in this quest. We invite you to share with us your thoughts or resources on making this vision a reality.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Authors:

Gary Goldman, a nationally recognized leader in education reform and youth empowerment, has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Organization Development. He is President and Founder of Quality Improvement Associates (QIA), a for-profit, and the International Quality Leadership Institute (IQLI), a nonprofit organization. IQLI's is dedicated to engaging our young people as partners in positive action in making a difference in our schools, communities and the world.

Goldman is co-author with Dr. Jay Newman of Empowering Students to Transform Schools (Corwin Press.) "This is a book of revelation. It reveals the power of our youth. They are ready, willing and able to help schools and communities change from institutions into dynamic, living organisms… education with a heart."

Dr. Allen Schmieder is currently the Vice President for K-20 Education and Technology Futures at JDL Technologies, a Minnesota company that works exclusively with school systems to improve their technology infrastructures and related educational programs. Serving seven Presidents, including a recent stint in the White House to help develop the technology-rich K-12 GLOBE Program which is already in 8,000 schools and 80 countries, Dr. Schmieder helped launch many nationally significant technology-centered programs and initiatives. He received the l998 Presidential Award from AECT for "34 years of outstanding leadership and service to education and educational technology at the federal policy level" and was recently named one of the nation's top educators by District Administration Magazine.

Driven by his conviction that there is a gaping (and potentially dangerous to the national welfare) "Digital Divide" between schools and the society that supports them, Dr. Schmieder is currently leading a number of state and national efforts directed at building "Millennium Schools," and accelerating the infusion of technology into school management, instruction, and assessment. He sees "student power" as the key to the rapid destruction of the "Digital Divide" and the building of schools that not only better reflect our technology-centered society, but become leaders in that society.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information about the International Quality Leadership Institute
and Quality Improvement Associates and its programs contact:
Phone (773)-761-2698
Fax (773) 761-1012
Or you can email Gary at gargoldman@aol.com
Visit us on the web at www.falcolog.com/qia

For more information about JDL and its programs access its award
winning website at: www.jdltech.com or contact Dr. Schmieder at
aschmieder@jdltech.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Copyright © January 2002 New Horizons for Learning, all rights reserved

A Call to Action: A Global Youth Empowerment Society (YES)

by Gary Goldman and Allen Schmieder

Against the backdrop of the events of September 11, 2001, it is more imperative than ever that our nation dramatically steps up its global involvement and world leadership. Stirred to action by these despicable acts, we have an obligation to respond rapidly and powerfully in the most positive way possible--and that is to intimately show the world's people how wonderful is the way of life in America and so many other enlightened nations around the world. We must clearly identify and widely share the fantastic contributions of every nation to civilization and the quality of life--the highest in history--that most of the world's people now enjoy. But most important, we must also seek to provide "poor" nations with the resources and know-how needed to overcome their current desperate situations and attain the quality of life that will ensure an end to the seeds of terrorism in those disadvantaged places.

Of all of the resources that can be brought to bear on this dream of hope for all nations and every person, none is so abundant and powerful as the world's children. Many good initiatives have blossomed over the years, directed at improving the communication and welfare of the world's youth. And we owe an immeasurable gratitude of debt to those bold pioneers. But we must now find ways to build on the work of these remarkable pathfinders and raise our children to a central place on the world stage of peaceful community building and economic development. For decades, educational and political leaders everywhere have poignantly stated, "our youth are the most powerful cornerstone of our future."

The future is now. We must immediately, especially through technology and real time global communication, seek new and successful ways to make youth full partners in our quest to build a peaceful and bountiful future for all of the world's children and families. We have two remarkable miracles now available to us--in every nation, every community, every place: hundreds of millions of young people who have been proven to be far more adept at using the new technologies than adults (the first time in history that youth know better than adults-- the most important lever for economic development); and the World Wide Web which will enable the kind of communication necessary to effectively and quickly share new resources and build the kind of youth to youth, community to community, nation to nation cooperation and affection that the world has only been able to dream about throughout human history.

It's time for this nation to model this revolution by involving and empowering every young person in America to make significant contributions to energizing their own lives and spearheading the revitalization of their schools, neighborhoods and communities. As a nation we must engage our young people in addressing the issues that most concern them in their lives, their communities and the world around them by joining with others, as full partners, in action to create change.

Inner city schools and many of the neighborhoods and communities in which they exist are near the bottom of the economic opportunity scale and those involved are generally cynical about reversing the situation. What America has failed to realize is that these schools and neighborhoods have a rich supply of the most valuable and potentially powerful technology resources in the world-- their students! As we show the way to unleash these powerful resources in this country, we will show the way to do the same around the globe.

To accelerate the achievement of this golden promise, we are gathering a group of some of the nation's most extraordinary educational and community leaders to develop a strategy for achieving a "Youth Empowerment Society" (YES!) directed at slamming shut the "Digital Divide" and in the process, launching K-12 inner city and other at-risk students into the Millennium world of cutting edge technology and financial entrepreneurship. Our goal is to enlist students, schools, parents, community organizations, foundations, business partners, and government agencies nationwide in building one of the most powerful and uplifting initiatives ever undertaken on behalf of our nation's youth- -and in the process energize our urban economies with the unlimited potential and inventive genius of over 50 million school students.

The organizers of this initiative, Gary Goldman, Allen Schmeider, Dwain Kyles, Donna Gaines, and Fred Blocton feel strongly that one of the surest ways to motivate, retain and inspire inner city students (as well as other youth) is to prepare them for leadership and economic security in our technology-centered world of free enterprise. We seek to unite all those marvelous entities already serving youth in promoting the development of a collective technology and educational enterprise that will be unparalleled in human history! It is our belief that the challenge of preparing an enlightened next generation of leaders is at the center of the world's long term health, safety and well being.

YES proposes a virtual society, utilizing three key components: one, the power of the World Wide Web's virtual architecture; second, a proven, common sense approach to community building, centered in youth involvement and collaborative problem-solving (Youth-Centered Community Collaboratives); and third, the final component - the often untapped human resource (i.e. knowledge, leadership, skills, and energy) of America's youth. More specifically, the goal of the Youth-Centered Community Collaboratives (YC3), as an integral part of YES, is to build stronger relationships between youth and youth, and youth and adults. It utilizes resources within the school and community to create a positive environment that results in increased youth social and academic success, and healthier and safer communities for all. Special emphasis is placed on seeing all our youth as learners, teachers, and problems solvers--powerful resources for uplifting the quality of life here and abroad.

YES will help young people to lead projects and establish their own mark in society. It is truly an opportunity for kids to lead kids with adults acting as facilitators and guides along the way. Through our ongoing "high-tech" and "high-touch" integrative approach YES offers them the environment to flourish and build important relationships with other youth and the adults in their lives. The beauty of this program is that ALL young people are eligible to "play." Every child from any walk of life has the opportunity to achieve and succeed! This initiative is for all kids, from the underprivileged to the so-called "at-risk" to the "high achieving." In almost every major reform effort in the past, there have clearly been "haves" and "have nots." The playing field has never been equal. All students have the capacity to become technology whizzes--we need only to give them access to the abundance of the worldwide web and its related technologies--and they will excel!

As part of our development of YES, youth participants from urban, suburban and rural communities were interviewed during several focus groups/forums. Several said, "If I had the power to change the world, I would." Other youth suggested they would initiate various forms of civic engagement. Some of their contributions include: reading books to younger students, creating career related activities for other youth in their community, beautifying their schools through building enhancement projects, meeting with law enforcement or their city government agencies to discuss their ideas on improving the communities. Once again, youth demonstrate their interest in civic and community leadership. YES will assist America's youth and youth worldwide in achieving their goals of becoming full partners in Millennium efforts to provide a high quality of life for all of the world's citizens.

In designing the YES, we compared the difference between the senior citizens before and after the advent of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Prior to someone figuring out how to refocus the needs of the discontents, energy and resources of our senior population, most of their concerns fell on deaf ears. Once they were organized, however, their opinions and desires became some of the most influential in our nation's system of government. We want to do reach a similar goal with our young people: help them organize into a united and powerful group that will dramatically raise their self-esteem, launch them into a positive career path, and provide America and the world with a powerful and almost infinite new resource.

We see ourselves as a vital partner with established youth-focused organizations and programs, and are committed to creating a powerful collaboration with these youth advocates. If we can effectively re-orient our thinking to be inspired by the collective ideas and potential contributions of our youth, we can significantly enhance the effectiveness of each of these organizations in the communities in which they serve. Imagine the synergistic effect of such a movement!

This is an immense wake-up call for this nation and the world TO TAKE ACTION. We cannot return to "business as usual." Our young people will be the major players in our future, and must be included in any vision of how to build that future. Let our children become the peace ambassadors for healing the world.

We are inviting the entire educational community to hold this vision of creating a unified global youth initiative in order to bring our planet into a place of peace and prosperity for all. We must include our future, our young generation in this quest. We invite you to share with us your thoughts or resources on making this vision a reality.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Authors:

Gary Goldman, a nationally recognized leader in education reform and youth empowerment, has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Organization Development. He is President and Founder of Quality Improvement Associates (QIA), a for-profit, and the International Quality Leadership Institute (IQLI), a nonprofit organization. IQLI's is dedicated to engaging our young people as partners in positive action in making a difference in our schools, communities and the world.

Goldman is co-author with Dr. Jay Newman of Empowering Students to Transform Schools (Corwin Press.) "This is a book of revelation. It reveals the power of our youth. They are ready, willing and able to help schools and communities change from institutions into dynamic, living organisms… education with a heart."

Dr. Allen Schmieder is currently the Vice President for K-20 Education and Technology Futures at JDL Technologies, a Minnesota company that works exclusively with school systems to improve their technology infrastructures and related educational programs. Serving seven Presidents, including a recent stint in the White House to help develop the technology-rich K-12 GLOBE Program which is already in 8,000 schools and 80 countries, Dr. Schmieder helped launch many nationally significant technology-centered programs and initiatives. He received the l998 Presidential Award from AECT for "34 years of outstanding leadership and service to education and educational technology at the federal policy level" and was recently named one of the nation's top educators by District Administration Magazine.

Driven by his conviction that there is a gaping (and potentially dangerous to the national welfare) "Digital Divide" between schools and the society that supports them, Dr. Schmieder is currently leading a number of state and national efforts directed at building "Millennium Schools," and accelerating the infusion of technology into school management, instruction, and assessment. He sees "student power" as the key to the rapid destruction of the "Digital Divide" and the building of schools that not only better reflect our technology-centered society, but become leaders in that society.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information about the International Quality Leadership Institute
and Quality Improvement Associates and its programs contact:
Phone (773)-761-2698
Fax (773) 761-1012
Or you can email Gary at gargoldman@aol.com
Visit us on the web at www.falcolog.com/qia

For more information about JDL and its programs access its award
winning website at: www.jdltech.com or contact Dr. Schmieder at
aschmieder@jdltech.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Copyright © January 2002 New Horizons for Learning, all rights reserved

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