Announcing the 2016 Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Organizing Award Winner

Congratulations Hearing Youth Voices!

Hearing Youth Voices  has been awarded the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Organizing Award for receiving the most votes! We are proud to award a $50,000 grant to Hearing Youth Voices for its commitment to advancing student-centered learning. The Foundation would like to thank all of the nominees for their tremendous commitment to advancing student-centered learning or redesigning education to meet the needs of all students – specifically focused on public secondary education.


A huge thank you goes out to all of the nominees and voters who took the time to participate in this contest and get out the vote!

Final Voting Results

258 – Granite State Organizing Project
6,532 – Hearing Youth Voices
98 – Portland Empowered
2,117 – Providence Student Union
3,388 – Sociedad Latina
408 – Up for Learning
6,002 – Young Voices

This year, more than 18,000 individuals submitted votes on the Students at the Center Hub, with Hearing Youth Voices finishing with the most votes.

About Hearing Youth Voices

At this New London, Connecticut-based group, youth leaders identify issues, research solutions, and run campaigns aimed at making concrete, meaningful changes in their public schools. The core membership and leadership are working class youth of color, many of whom are also LGBTQI, and/or immigrant, and/or have been pushed out of school. At Hearing Youth Voices (HYV), these young people are coming together to demand educational justice. Recently, HYV youth ran the “We Want to Graduate Campaign,” which focused on systemic obstacles to students graduating, specifically absence-based credit loss and suspensions. After two years of hard work on the part of hundreds of youth, the New London Public Schools (NLPS) revised its attendance policy to offer supportive interventions instead of punishments for absent students, a change that affected the more than 3,000 students and families in NLPS. Additionally, HYV youth worked alongside a broader coalition of parent advocates, school staff, and Board of Education members to create the district’s first-ever Restorative Practices pilot project. Most recently, HYV successfully advocated for students to become voting members of the Board of Education’s Policy Committee, integrating student voice into the highest level of policy decision-making in the district.

Our Framework

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