The Shawnee Youth Coalition
Six past SYC members at a leadership retreat in Nashville, Tennessee!
SYC members at a winter retreat
Playing games at the SYC Kickoff
The Shawnee Youth Coalition (SYC) was established for youth and led by youth. We believe that we can act as leaders and decision-makers in helping address the issues that affect our lives and our community. We do this through service because we believe that the best way to lead is by example.
In 2002, adults in our community decided it was past time to give youth a voice. Through the efforts of these adults, Shawnee Youth Coalition took root and has been growing ever since. We are a branch of the nonprofit organization, Gateway to Prevention and Recovery, which helps to serve those with alcohol and drug addictions and to prevent those addictions before they begin. SYC currently meets where Gateway houses its prevention side of operations, at 1414 N. Kennedy.
SYC has worked to change many negative norms since its founding, and continues to branch out according to what SYC members see as issues in the community. In the past, we have worked against underage drinking and tobacco use, started anti-bullying programs, fought for environmental sustainability, and have participated in and led youth empowerment projects and programs. We also host a free summer camp every year for kids in our community. See "Teams" for more information.
Youth, not adults, lead SYC. Every year our adult coordinator, Jon, selects capable youth as co-leaders, who then work together as a team to lead the group. Jon serves in a background position, helping, assisting, and training the co-leaders. This year the co's are Gabby Broyles, Harper Morris, Cale Sugg, and Zane Tucker.
Check out this promo video made a few years after the founding of SYC: