YouthTrain Gears Up for Event
By Michaelia Fosses
Imagine a group of students gathering in any
room on campus—a classroom full of people, some chatting with their
neighbors, others fidgeting with their backpacks. Then someone walks
to the front of the room and begins to speak. But it's no ordinary
On Wednesday, March 28, students across the country
will gather to participate in YouthTrain, a leadership and activist
training event sponsored by the Center for Progressive Leadership.
in YouthTrain will have access to “a training video, a live event with
national youth leaders, and a skills practice session,” according to
the event's website. The event is based on the “house party” model
developed during the 2004 Presidential campaign as an effective and
personal means of networking likeminded people and fostering political
“I think this is a fun way to bond with fellow
students on campus,” said Claudia Ahwireng, Program Assistant at the
Center for Progressive Leadership. Along with the students gathering on
an individual campus, the Center is planning for YouthTrain events to
run simultaneously, allowing students across the country to interact
with one another via a conference call.
Students sign up with
the Center to host a YouthTrain event at their school. The Center hopes
to have 50 schools running the training; however, at the time of the
writing of this article, only 22 schools have signed up to host an
“This is kind of face-to-face,” explained Ahwireng.
“They'll be calling in their questions and we'll be responding in real
“We're running this with our partner organizations that
have student chapters and we were hoping they would help us get to 50,”
said Ahwireng. “We definitely think 50 is realistic. Usually there's
a huge rush to sign up the week of [the event].”
organization has never done an off-site training event geared toward
youth, Ahwireng expects the event to be a success.
“[YouthTrain] is innovative because it allows a large number of people to gather in one space,” said Ahwireng.
its technological innovation, Ahwireng says the event is cost-effective
and convenient for many students because it is held right on their
Gregory Cendana, a sociology major at the University
of California Los Angeles, and host of their YouthTrain, agreed with
“I thought it would be an interesting way to get
information in a different kind of format,” he said. Cendana also said
the format was one of the most intriguing aspects for him.
emphasized that the event is relationship-building and allows students
to get together and share ideas; she also said it is empowering, as
students have control over how they stage the event.
As the event grows nearer, students are getting excited.
thought this was a great opportunity for those individuals who, after
college, plan on continuing their work in organizing and lobbying,”
said Amy Moore, a Women's Studies major and host of the YouthTrain at
Humboldt State University
“I’m really looking forward to see what will come of [YouthTrain],” said Cendana. “I hope to really engage other students.”
Center For Progressive Leadership will make a big recruiting push in
the next week, working with their partner organizations to increase the
number of schools involved, said Ahwireng.
For more information about YouthTrain or the Center For Progressive Leadership, visit the website at http://www.progressleaders.org/youthtrain/. To watch a YouTube video about the event, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2YovxpOaJc&eurl.