Youth Create!: A Collection of Youth-Created Content

Adolescents have a unique perspective. They are at a stage in life marked by new roles and capacities for thinking and engaging with the world. Authentic youth engagement benefits both youth and youth-serving programs by providing adolescents with needed opportunities for growth and self-expression and informing programs about how to better meet the needs of youth.

As part of its own youth engagement efforts, the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) launched a call for youth-created content: Youth Create! in 2021. Young people ages 13-21 who currently participate or have participated in OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) grantee programs were invited to share videos, poems, stories, art, photos, and voice recordings that addressed at least one of the following prompts:

  • What has helped you and other youth get through the pandemic?
  • How has being part of a TPP program impacted your life?
  • What does a healthy future mean to you and others your age?

Youth from TPP programs across the country responded to Youth Create! Explore their submissions below or view the compilation video. Submissions are divided into three categories:

All submissions are in their original form in order to retain the youth’s authentic voice. Only video background music was changed to adhere to copyright laws.

Videos and Multimedia

The Truth Untold

Claudine, Monica, and the OIC Teen Pregnancy Prevention Youth Leadership Council, Florida

The Truth Untold Video Screen Shot

 

YLC You and Me

Dorissa, Leriana, and the OIC Teen Pregnancy Prevention Youth Leadership Council, Florida

YLC You and Me Video Screenshot

 

Youth Optimal Health

Angel, Rubi, and Josephat, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Arizona

Youth Optimal Health Video Screenshot

 

Our Past, My Present, the World’s Future

Tanya, Project STIQ, New York

Our Past, My Present, the World's Future Video screenshot

 

YES for Health. YES for Hope.

TRUST (Pro Youth and Families): Youth Engagement Squad, California

Yes for Health Yes for Hope Video Screenshot

 

Poetry, Essays, and Written Works

Bloom and Doom

German, Project STIQ, New York

In a year, 
where the gloom dominated the bloom,
for what felt like an eternal collapsible boom,
the youth pulled through this dark, dark doom. 

Held at home as tight as a cocoon, 
the nights going down as early as noon,
they went on their tools to view the long gone moon, 
the youth pulled through this dark, dark doom. 

Endless days led by an orange haired loon, 
felt like a time travel back to the world of the goons, 
the one where no deeds could possibly be seen any time soon, 
the youth pulled through this dark, dark doom. 

But what exactly did they do in this dark, dark doom,
to keep their sanity as platoons
in the quietest of the croons (times)? 

Some became various gassoons (jobs as dishwashers)
and made their share of doubloons. 
Some crushed poons (fools),
for their mischievous acts of buffoons.
Some put their minds on a balloon,
and set goals for their future honeymoons. 

Others had troubles in this unfortunate cartoon,
where this setup wasn’t made for their type of toons. 
Others filled their spoons,
with memories and macaroons. 
Others depleted their tablespoons,
by letting themselves fall in a lagoon. 

Regardless, 
the case is that,
the youth pulled through this dark, dark doom.

Change

Hector, Project STIQ, New York

Many young people who didn’t use protection regret it and now they feel darkness within 

Way too much youth who have yet to grin
Because mistakes make them feel darkness within 

All of the kids feel something crawling on their skin 
Because they feel darkness within 

But now with the knowledge I acquired from Project STIQ
They can live their lives with their conscious clean

And since then youth have been able to leave the state of mind they were in 
And finally now they can begin to say “I win”
To the darkness within 

Now I can guide
Those who have cried
And help them leave their problems aside 

Now that they know they can get help
They don’t feel the need to yelp 
Now they are at peace
The worried feelings were finally ceased 

Visual Art and Photos

You are Not Alone

Rubi, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Arizona

Rubi, youth, holds colorful sign with hand-drawn flowers and statement: You're Not Alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Yourself

Angel, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Arizona

Angel, youth, holds colorful sign with hand-drawn hearts and statement: Love Yourself.