Who We Are
The Public Safety Youth Leadership Team (Team) was established by youth to give other youth from a diverse social, economic and achievement backgrounds the opportunity to exchange ideas on anti-crime/violence issues to effect policy changes with local and national leaders. The program combines youth employment, peer-centered pro-social activities and civic engagement learning projects that encourage innovation together with developing the individual’s self-esteem, leadership, and civic skills by engaging young people in actions to positively affect the circumstances in their lives. The Team are paid youth workers who work year-round and is comprised of 14 youth, ages 14-18 years, employed by DPSYP. The Team partners with youth organizations across the metro-Denver to host, sponsor, fundraise and participate in youth pro-social activities and events.
The Team provides the youth voice/input needed to assist DPSYP in developing, prioritizing resources, targeting areas, and implementing strategies to achieve the agency’s goal of reducing youth crime and violence. The Team looks critically at their communities, identifies problems and the resources to help solve those problems. They learn from other youth’s experiences and insights.
The Team takes pride in volunteering in their community and works together to set goals, plan, and reflect on the execution of the process of any projects they participate in throughout the year.
Since 2023, The Team has participated in/or implemented community projects in collaboration with their partners such as: Halloween party for youth living at the Samaritan House; making Xmas stockings for abused and neglected children involved with the Department of Human Services; Back Pack and School Supply Drives; hosting summer BBQs for Housing Projects
The Team conducts a youth needs survey across the metro area to identify the issues that their peers’ feel that more information is needed to help them be successful and productive citizens. The Team then identifies resources and implements trainings on ways the youth can resolve and/or build skills around those issues identified as currently impacting the youth in their lives, homes, schools, and communities.
Through peer mentoring and trainings, they can instill leadership skills in younger youth while developing their own self-esteem, community engagement and leadership skills. Team participated in several social and justice reform efforts on local, state, and national levels. The Team has received letters of appreciation from several community members for their participation and assistance over the years.
Since 2023, The Team has participated in/or implemented over 300 trainings and
For the past 28 years, the Team has planned and coordinated the Safe City Youth Summit.
The Summit is open to all youth between the ages of 12 to 18 years and is designed by youth for youth.
The summit was designed to give youth a chance to discuss issues they face. In addition, the summit offers a process for youth to politely interact to support programs and policies that better the lives of youth within the Denver-metro area. The Summit’s mission is to create a safe forum for youth to discuss, address, and implement an ongoing youth partnership within the community.
The Team has planned. organized and coordinated the Summit for the past 24 years. The Summit’s agenda and workshops are developed, identified, selected coordinated, and implemented by the Team and youth from community partner organizations. 400 youth, ages 12-18 years attended the 2018 Youth Summit.
This free fun filled event features a keynote speaker, roundtable discussion, interactive workshops on the latest hot topics as identified by the PSYLT, youth entertainment, DJ, breakfast/lunch, and giveaways!
DPSYP was able to give away a $1000 College Scholarship, two $500 college scholarship and a $250 College Scholarship which they raised the money by fundraising all year. Youth must apply to win a scholarship (see attached application).
Practices and Program Strategy
Denver Public Safety Youth Programs (DPSYP) utilizes best practices of youth violence prevention as a key program strategy to stop youth violence. Its Youth Leadership Team (YLT) strategy implemented in 1994 is appropriately grounded in the field of positive youth development and youth engagement. It’s important to remember that even though youth involvement promotes positive youth development, this philosophy is grounded in the belief that youth are best served when they are active participants in their relationships and activities with adults and other youth; when their input influences decisions made about them; and appropriate to their age and maturity. The youth development movement was created to emphasize the positive outcomes that youth can create, help them to develop positively, but also to utilize their expertise in enhancing systems transformation.
YLT, aka Public Safety Youth Leadership Team (Team) program strategy provides an ongoing youth voice to inform DPSYP programming interventions; allows DPSYP the opportunity to leverage his staffing coverage and funding by utilizing youth to provide peer trainings; assist in collecting needs data from youth and adults to target its resources; and assist DPSYP and its partners in their youth, family, and civic engagement strategies. Youth are recruited from DPSYP diversion programs, partner schools, and youth serving community groups. Since this is not a summer youth employment program, youth are required: to commit to participating on the Team for a minimum of two years; complete an application and CSA onboarding process; to attend mandatory two-hour training/planning year-round weekly sessions as scheduled; to work a maximum of five hours per week year-round; participate in peer trainings as assigned.