Why is this work important?

We believe deeply in the potential, ingenuity and passion of young people to create positive change in our community. Yet, inequities in youth voice, perception and educational opportunities can keep young people on the sidelines. Strong Cincinnati offers a more equitable model for community development by defining young people as the key drivers for change, connecting them with peers from different backgrounds, and mobilizing their ideas in neighborhoods. Through this approach, we hope to inspire hundreds of young leaders to both strengthen their community and to see themselves as long-term leaders for change.

How do we go about it?

We support youth-driven community impact by:

  1. Partnering with the neighborhood school and residents to align on a vision.
  2. Recruiting, developing and supporting adult advisors to facilitate the process with youth teams.
  3. Supporting the formation of youth teams and engaging them in innovative, strengths-based learning experiences designed to create connections, uncover community assets, and build youth agency- resulting in a project proposal to strengthen the community.
  4. Hosting a neighborhood pitch night, where youth teams “pitch” project ideas to their neighbors.
  5. Supporting implementation of youth projects in partnership with adult advisors.

What results will you see?

We know that this approach leads to successful outcomes based on our previous work with adult residents in Madisonville who led similar community change projects. Through that implementation, we found that:

  • 100% of surveyed project leaders indicated an increase in leadership capacity, confidence, and/or self-efficacy.
  • 78% of surveyed community members report stronger connections to their community.

Interested in learning more?

Check out the Strong Cincinnati website and connect with Joe Moorman, Senior Director of Organizational and Community Development at

We are grateful for the incredible partners with whom we work, like these four. See the full list here.