Our Mission, Vision & Values
To empower youth to be active and valued participants in decision making processes at all levels.
In our vision all young people have the skills to analyze and think critically about public policy and systems of government in order to become informed individuals who actively participate in a democratic society.
Youth are made a priority in CA communities. Their experiences are recognized and validated by those in power and youth are an integral part of decision making at all levels.
All youth are adequately supported emotionally, physically, mentally and financially to thrive in a society that puts children and youth first.
CalCenter Core Values
We have identified a set of core values that guide our work and the programs we develop and facilitate.
Multi-partisan: (non-partisan) This means not automatically aligning yourself with a particular bias or party position, but allowing yourself to try and understand all positions of any given issue. This philosophy creates more connectedness and understanding of people that are different from ourselves.
Diversity: engaging youth from different socio-economic backgrounds, neighborhoods, races, genders, abilities and political associations. Our programs draw strength from bringing together youth of different backgrounds and abilities to create diversity in ideas and thought.
Holistic approach: Educating youth on complex policy requires a holistic approach so that they can fully understand the issues and create ways to solve them. We believe education includes engaging hands-on curriculum, networking with community leaders, career and college development workshops and technical training.
Fact based: The information we provide on policy is fact based from empirical evidence and presented as such. We help youth navigate through opinion, facts, perspectives and emotions to get to the core of an issue.
Unity: With such separation in our current political environment, we choose to focus on commonalities that connect us for the common good. We help youth identify who is trying to divide us for power and how we can work together to solve our problems.
Connection: First, youth realize that individual decisions inevitably affect others either directly or indirectly. Everything is connected and has a ripple effect. Secondly, our program outcomes demonstrate that youth are making important broader connections which enhance their understanding of issues and leaves them with a better sense of how to solve problems.
Education: Education is the key to improving the world and the lives of all living things. In terms of civic education, if youth want to change or improve government and institutions, they need the skills and knowledge to do so. Amongst other things, this can improve government processes for equal and appropriate civic representation.