The mission of the Chinese Youth Initiative is to develop youth leadership in the Chinese American community. We strive to accomplish this goal by cultivating awareness about the issues facing Chinese Americans and providing youth with experience in grassroots community organizing.
What is Chinese Youth Initiative (CYI)?
Since 1994, CYI has brought together Chinese American youth from all over the Boston area. Sponsored by the Chinese Progressive Association, the program’s mission is to develop and involve youth leadership in the Chinese American community. We strive to accomplish this goal through cultivating awareness around Chinese American issues and providing youth with experience in grassroots community organizing.
CYI was started with the notion that, if given guidance, opportunity, and experience in making a difference, many youth would want to better understand our society and create positive change in their communities. We empower youth through education, leadership skills development, and taking action!
CYI hosts a seven week paid summer internship that provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about and make a difference in the Chinese American community in Boston. The internship covers issues such as worker rights, community stabilization, immigrant rights, and political empowerment. With each topic, interns learn about the history, exlore their personal connection, and take action to improve the conditions for the community. Youth in our program have left with life long friendships and empowered to make change. An application and interview process is required and typically takes place in April and May every year. Applications are now available for our 2015 Summer Internship program! Apply by April 10th, 2015. Click here for application and more information!
Chinese Youth Initiative’s year-round program is open to ALL youth who want to get involved with the Chinatown community. As a member of CYI, you will be given new opportunities to organize and develop your leadership. Youth can become involved in many different ways including attending a general assembly meeting, joining a campaign subcommittee, or attending a social event. Contact the youth coordinator for more information.
Current CYI Projects Include:
- Project AAIYA! Asian American Initiative for Youth Action: High school aged youth can become active leaders in Chinatown through this 10-week volunteer program that provides social justice knowledge, skills, and real opportunities to make positive change. Project AAIYA is a weekly program and youth who participate will receive volunteer hours.
- Chinatown Library Campaign: Chinatown has been without a library since 1950s when it was torn down to build the highway through the neighborhood. Since 2000, CYI has been working to bring a library back to Chinatown through advocacy, education, and support of community initiatives such as opening a temporary storefront library and reading room. Check out the video made by CYI about why we need a library in chinatown below.
- Chinatown Bike-A-Thon: In CYI’s annual fundraiser, we promote healthy activity, investment in youth, and solidarity as we ride through the bike paths of Boston. We welcome any sponsors and interested riders! As summer approaches, look for more information on the Bike-A-Thon!
- Public Transit for the Public Good: For the past two years, CYI has been involved with the Youth Affordability Coalition fighting against fare increases and service cuts to the public transit that our youth and members depend on.
Join the Chinese Youth Initiative Facebook group for more updates or e-mail our youth coordinator at kim at cpaboston.org (“@” has been replaced by “at” in the e-mail address to avoid spam)