About Us

The Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society (CYESS) is an initiative of the Afterschool Alliance that brings together individuals and organizations who believe in the power of youth to use STEM for social good. We are a network of people and organizations working to integrate STEM, civic engagement, and youth leadership in afterschool and out-of-school time programs. Our group of educators, researchers, young people, funders, and organizers is dedicated to both improving our own practice in service of a more STEM-literate and civically engaged society and to support other programs and practitioners to enable youth in using STEM to improve their communities.

  Our core values:

In a world increasingly shaped by advances in STEM fields, both local and global challenges require solutions rooted in STEM and generated by a diverse group of people. This includes young people who bring unique perspectives, diverse lived experiences, and fresh ideas to the challenges they see and experience first-hand. CYESS recognizes the current exclusion of youth from shaping these solutions and aims to bridge the gap by consulting directly with youth and convening program leaders to leverage their expertise in engaging youth with STEM to take civic action. CYESS operates on the belief that empowering young people through high-quality STEM learning experiences and civic skill development opportunities is essential to address complex societal challenges. This assumption is grounded in the conviction that afterschool and out-of-school-time programs, particularly those committed to high-quality youth development principles, can serve as catalysts for positive social change. CYESS’ work leverages the afterschool field’s expertise in providing nurturing, supportive environments for young people, engaging STEM experiences, and opportunities for civic engagement.

  Our Vision:

A future where adults share power with young people and empower them to use STEM knowledge, skills, and tools to tackle societal challenges and help bring about systemic social change at the local, state, and federal levels.

 Our Mission:

To support afterschool and other out-of-school-time programs to create and offer a robust and productive ecosystem of opportunities to elevate youth voices through meaningful STEM-based civic engagement.

 Our Commitment to Equity:

The Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society recognizes the pivotal role young people play as important stakeholders in addressing society's most pressing issues. We acknowledge the unique perspectives and lived experiences of young individuals, understanding that their voices are valuable and essential in conversations that impact their futures. We are dedicated to fostering an environment where every young person, regardless of background or circumstance, has equal access to STEM learning, civic engagement opportunities, and the ability to share their voices. We strive to build the capacity of and support the larger out-of-school time field to provide their communities with these opportunities and ensure that the resources we share and support we provide are inclusive, supportive, and responsive programming. Collective members commit to demonstrating these values and reflecting them in their work.

Interested in having a conversation about our work? You can contact us by emailing *cyess*at*afterschoolalliance.org*.

We thank our funders for supporting this work!