Youth Rights Media
85 Willow Street
Bldg. A, Fl. 2, Suite 3
New Haven CT 06511-2678
Contact Information
Address 85 Willow Street
Bldg. A, Fl. 2, Suite 3
New Haven, CT 06511-2678
Telephone (203) 776-4034 x
Fax 203-776-4034
E-mail info@youthrightsmedia.org
Web and Social Media
Mission

Youth Rights Media (YRM) is a New Haven, CT-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth to know, protect and advance their rights. 

YRM builds youth power and leadership by teaching media production and community engagement skills, equipping young people with tools and strategies for affecting change within themselves and their communities.

YRM believes that all youth, regardless of where they live, their racial background or their socioeconomic status have leadership potential. YRM runs programs to help encourage the evolution of a society that respects and values the potential of all youth and creates spaces for them to contribute to the decisions that most affect them; a future where young people are treated as citizens, whose voices and stories are not just heard but become catalysts for change; a future where all youth have access to media education and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically about the media; and a future where youth are not abused by the media but instead use media to promote social justice.

YRM believes that all youth, regardless of where they live, their racial background or their socioeconomic status have leadership potential. YRM runs programs to help encourage the evolution of a society that respects and values the potential of all youth and creates spaces for them to contribute to the decisions that most affect them; a future where young people are treated as citizens, whose voices and stories are not just heard but become catalysts for change; a future where all youth have access to media education and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically about the media; and a future where youth are not abused by the media but instead use media to promote social justice.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2002
Former Names
Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (J-RAP)
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa Mangini
Board Chair Mr. Fahd Vahidy
Board Chair Company Affiliation William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $209,821.00
Projected Expenses $209,821.00
Statements
Mission

Youth Rights Media (YRM) is a New Haven, CT-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth to know, protect and advance their rights. 

YRM builds youth power and leadership by teaching media production and community engagement skills, equipping young people with tools and strategies for affecting change within themselves and their communities.

YRM believes that all youth, regardless of where they live, their racial background or their socioeconomic status have leadership potential. YRM runs programs to help encourage the evolution of a society that respects and values the potential of all youth and creates spaces for them to contribute to the decisions that most affect them; a future where young people are treated as citizens, whose voices and stories are not just heard but become catalysts for change; a future where all youth have access to media education and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically about the media; and a future where youth are not abused by the media but instead use media to promote social justice.

YRM believes that all youth, regardless of where they live, their racial background or their socioeconomic status have leadership potential. YRM runs programs to help encourage the evolution of a society that respects and values the potential of all youth and creates spaces for them to contribute to the decisions that most affect them; a future where young people are treated as citizens, whose voices and stories are not just heard but become catalysts for change; a future where all youth have access to media education and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically about the media; and a future where youth are not abused by the media but instead use media to promote social justice.

Background

New Haven in the late 1990's was a cauldron of tension between young minority men and the police department, having weathered a series of controversial shootings and community claims of excessive use of force. In the summer of 2000, Yale Law School students Homer Robinson and Gabriel Plotkin teamed up with Yale University undergrad Laura McCargar to launch the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (JRAP), a student-run organization with the goal of shifting the dynamic between local teens and police officers, and reducing the flow of youth into the juvenile justice system by educating youth about their rights - and responsibilities - in encounters with police.

Homer, Gabe and Laura worked with a group of New Haven teens to develop and produce a video entitled Cops, Kids, Rights and Respect, and later paired high school juniors and seniors with law students to facilitate in-school workshops designed to address these issues at the ground level. In the spring of 2002, after working with dozens of teen peer educators to reach hundreds of New Haven students, JRAP was incorporated as Youth Rights Media (YRM).

As YRM evolved, its work moved beyond sharing information about the law of rights to focus on empowering youth to understand - and challenge - the politics of rights and the power structures that affect how rights are respected, protected, or disregarded in different communities. Since incorporating in 2002, YRM has worked with hundreds of young people whose media productions, workshops, and community change events have reached thousands of community members in New Haven and across the state of Connecticut.

Impact

YRM teaches young people how to make and use media to affect change and supports young people as filmmakers, artists, and community change agents. 

Accomplishments in 2013: 

Youth learned to use media as a form of creative and artistic expression. New forms of media were added to YRM’s basic programming during Summer Institute 2013, as youth had and continue to have the opportunity to explore audio recording (podcasts), photography, music, creative writing, blogging and creating infographics as forms of media.

Youth gained strong technical media production and technology skills, including the mastery of digital video cameras and industry-standard professional editing programs, such as Final Cut Pro and ProTools. The most technically proficient of YRM’s films, 2013’s Labeled, was nearly entirely youth-produced and edited.

Youth were able to place their personal struggles in a social, political, and economic context. Youth Rights Media interns consistently have opportunities to discuss their own experiences in their city, sharing and learning from each other and the community members with whom they engage. Through their work on Labeled, YRM youth considered their own experiences as well as those of their friends and loved ones in the LGBT community – and explored how those experiences related to the larger issues of school, family, faith, and the media. Interns went through similar processes to create projects around youth/police relations (Fall/Spring 2012/2013), school suspensions, asset-based community development and the limited opportunities of young undocumented immigrants (Summer 2013). 

 
 
Needs
  1. Diversify funding and engage new donors
  2. Board development/growing the board
  3. Build administrative capacity
  4. Run quality programs more efficiently and effectively
  5. Develop a new and engaging external communication campaign
CEO Statement

It’s been an exciting year at Youth Rights Media (YRM)! In June, over 200 guests at the Yale University Art Gallery attended the premier our newest film, Labeled, which takes a look at the experiences of LGBT youth in New Haven. We debuted our “Reel News” blog, an accumulation of projects from our 2013 Summer Institute program in August. In September, we moved into a new office, and in October, we once again launched our school-year program, this time serving more youth than ever before.

“Youth Rights Media [is] our organization… It's our way of getting our voices out into the community and our way of showing people we have voices and want to be heard.” -Julie, age 17; Youth Rights Media Intern

For over a decade, we have offered a truly unique opportunity for young people to engage in self-discovery and community exploration. With your financial support, YRM invests in youth participants, not only through media training, but by providing the critical thinking, research, and facilitation skills to empower youth to connect the concerns they have as individuals with larger-scale social justice issues – resulting in young people who have the tools, skills, and strategies for affecting change within themselves and their communities. Through the production and presentation of multimedia projects, hundreds of youth have developed advocacy, facilitation, and communication skills in our program.

"YRM has given my daughter a safe place where she is free to be herself. I am so glad she found a passion in filmmaking Thanks to this program she is considering a career in media."- Janet, parent of a YRM intern

Youth Rights Media is growing; our program is strengthening and expanding to reach even more of our city’s young people. This growth would not be possible without the support of our loyal donors, who believe in giving voice to the youth of New Haven. 

Whether it is a digital story, an interview with a community member, a public service announcement or a photo essay, we are certain that what YRM has to offer will be stimulating, unique and insightful.  A total of 33 YRM interns have already started working on this season's content in Media Lab and City Beat, our two core programs. YRM’s outreach programs to local schools and youth-based initiatives will serve an additional 30 youth this year. We are thrilled to be able to bring you another jam-packed year of real-world, thought-provoking and original media production!

Board Chair Statement

I believe at the very core of our work at YRM, is to provide every opportunity for young people to broaden their perspective – their world view – and to launch their journey as curious learners/participants. At YRM, we have proven that providing young people with opportunities to harness media technology and their own leadership potential can lead to both personal transformation and tangible community change.  YRM offers a powerful alternative, where young people find a creative platform for reflecting on and analyzing their realities and gain tools to invest in betterment of their communities and believe in the possibilities of their own futures.

Celebrating ten years of service to young people in New Haven, our mission of empowering youth to know, protect and advance their rights through media production is still relevant. Young people remain interested and passionate about media and documenting issues that affect them.

I choose to volunteer because I believe in the mission of the organization, the need for young people to develop a critical perspective on the issues that impact their lives, and for young people to be civically engaged by voicing their opinions and concerns.

We realize funding for small, local non-profits like YRM is harder than ever to secure. YRM must continue to innovate and to cultivate new sources to ensure that our young people have a vibrant and vital organization that supports their vision for the future. 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Secondary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Film & Video
Tertiary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Civil Rights, Social Action, & Advocacy N.E.C.
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
There is a focus on New Haven.
Programs
Description

Media Lab: (33 weeks) Designed specially for students new to Youth Rights Media. The Media Lab workshop covers basic to intermediate camera and editing skills, as well providing a basic understanding of social justice concepts. Students learn to harness the power of their own voices through digital stories, community collaborations and various staff-assigned (“Project Proposals”) and student-led projects.

 
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations / Minorities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

By the end of the fall semester:

Youth will demonstrate improved critical thinking skills when analyzing media.
 
Youth will develop a sense of responsibility for addressing community needs and problems and see themselves as agents of change.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Over the next year, we hope that through our programs, youth will achieve three out of five of the following:

1.   Develop basic media technology skills and participate in camera operation, interviewing or video editing for one project;

2.   Increase ability to place their personal struggles in a social, political, and economic context and better understand how power is used to sustain or change public policy and community conditions;

3.   Increase public speaking skills and speak at one school or community event to raise awareness about and advance solutions to issues facing young people;

4.   Understand the connection between making media and making change and create opportunities for others to voice and create change by co-hosting (with other YRM youth) one town meeting and three community screenings; and,

5.  Avoid being arrested.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

YRM seeks feedback from our youth after every program cycle to help evaluate our programs’ impact and subsequently inform future programming and policies. YRM utilizes three main tools: post-only program surveys; peer video interviews (conducted by youth of each other at the close of each program cycle) and staff observations of youth growth and learning.  (A former consultant for YRM, Dr. Sabo, strongly encouraged post-only surveys because studies have shown that youth frequently overstate their knowledge in pre-surveys, particularly in relation to media skills, thereby skewing actual program results.)

Youth complete surveys using an online tool that automatically analyzes program data.  Exit interviews are collectively reviewed by YRM staff, who receive training in coding techniques so that we can extract both quantitative and qualitative data from interview footage.

We also strive to engage more parents through monthly group meetings and survey them to gauge students’ progress in and out of school. 

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
In June 2011, youth were surveyed about how their participation in YRM helped build certain skills.  These surveys yielded the following results:
  • 92% reported increased leadership skills
  • 83% reported an increased sense of self-confidence
  • 75% said they gained media technology skills (importing and editing footage)
  • 67% said they had a more positive outlook on their educational future
Description

Summer Institute is a five-week long youth employment program designed to give YRM interns hands-on work experience in media production and civic engagement in order to build their sense of power, leadership capacity and commitment to generating community change.


Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations / Minorities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
By the end of 10 sessions (mid-way through the program), youth will:
  • Develop sense of caring for the community 
  • Develop sense of accountability and take responsibility for their actions that affect the community
  • Build self-esteem
  • Build leadership
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
  • Improve their critical thinking skills so that youth are able to identify a problem, articulate its root causes (social, political, and economic), understand how various constituencies are impacted, and advance strategies for change.
  • Develop employability, work ethics and time management skills.
  • Learn how to set goals for personal growth, including increased self-confidence and increased sense of control over environment.
  • Gain media literacy skills and have an increased understanding of media’s impact on public perception and policies.
  • Develop public speaking, facilitation and leadership skills.
  • Gain an increased sense of purpose and connection to community.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

YRM seeks feedback from our youth after every program cycle to help evaluate our programs’ impact and subsequently inform future programming and policies. YRM utilizes three main tools: post-only program surveys; peer video interviews (conducted by youth of each other at the close of each program cycle) and staff observations of youth growth and learning. (A former consultant for YRM, Dr. Sabo, strongly encouraged post-only surveys because studies have shown that youth frequently overstate their knowledge in pre-surveys, particularly in relation to media skills, thereby skewing actual program results.)

Youth complete surveys using an online tool that automatically analyzes program data. Exit interviews are collectively reviewed by YRM staff, who receive training in coding techniques so that we can extract both quantitative and qualitative data from interview footage.

We also strive to engage more parents through monthly group meetings and survey them to gauge students’ progress in and out of school.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Youth surveys from YRM’s 2012 Summer Institute revealed:

·      77.3% reported a significant increase in leadership skills and self-confidence

·      86.4% reported a significant increase in desire and ability to change her/his community

·      91% reported increased learning about teamwork

·      86.4% reported a significant increase in public speaking skills

·      95.4% reported a significant increase in thinking about issues in their community differently

·      81.8% reported a significant change in they way they think about and view media

Description

City Beat: (33 weeks) The City Beat workshop expands upon the Media Lab experience, combining advanced camera and editing skills with an increased level of community involvement. Projects are largely youth-chosen and directed with staff guidance and supervision. During the 2013-2014 school year, City Beat will incorporate returning YRM interns and youth placed with YRM through Marrakech, Inc. via a City of New Haven Violence Prevention program grant.

Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments

 

This fall, Youth Rights Media underwent a major transition, including relocating its offices and a restructuring of staff and program. Our Media Lab program has been strengthened and stabilized, providing a foundation in media literacy and social justice thinking for our 15 newest interns. Our City Beat cohort has merged 10 of our veteran and returning interns with 10 youth from Marrakech, Inc. to serve a total of 20 teens. A satellite program at New Haven Academy, led by part-time instructor  provides another eight students with a basic introduction to using media as a social messaging platform, and through a grant from the City of New Haven with the Youth Development Training and Resource Center, ten of YRM’s City Beat interns have begun training two other youth groups (the Hill Youth Action Team and a group from New Haven’s YMCA) in media production. The first half of our year has focused on solidifying video-making, interviewing and storytelling skills, as well as discussion and brainstorming around community issues and their link to larger social justice issues. In the new year, Media Lab interns will once again take on project proposals, including collaborations with other community groups and organizations. City Beat will begin the topic selection process; their work will culminate in several shorter, related pieces around violence prevention to be screened in June. 


 

CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Melissa Mangini
Term Start Apr 2011
Email melissa@youthrightsmedia.org
Experience

A 2006 graduate of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, Melissa holds a BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Film and Broadcast and is pursuing her Masters in Interactive Media at Quinnipiac University. Melissa served with the AmeriCorps Public Allies program and was awarded the very first Young Alumni Service Award for her work from Manhattanville College in 2011. Prior to joining the team at Youth Rights Media, Melissa was a Program Associate at Public Allies Connecticut, served as the PACT Leadership Development Liaison to Common Ground High School, a MAXX Facilitator for the Consultation Center and Girls Group Facilitator at Riverside Academy. Having worked with New Haven teens around academic and leadership development since 2009, Melissa has come to feel a strong connection to the city and its vibrant youth.

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 3
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 67%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Ms. Janis Astor Del Valle Aug 2010 - Aug
Ms. Laura McCargar July 2002 - June
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
Youth @ Work
Public Allies CT
Hill Youth Action Team
Youth Development Resource & Training Center
Wilbur Cross High School
Metropolitan Business Academy
Marrakech
Children's Center of Hamden
Community Action Agency of New Haven
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Champion in ActionCitizens Bank2008
Human Rights AwardReebok2007
Revolutionary Visionary AwardArts Council of Greater New Haven2006
Audience Choice AwardWestport Youth Film Festival2006
Board Chair
Mr. Fahd Vahidy
Company Affiliation William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
Term July 2011 to June 2014
Email fahd.vahidy@gmail.com
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. James Farnam Farnam Associates LLC
Ms. Dawn Gibson-Brehon SUNY Purchase
Ms. Lina Paredes Connecticut Health Foundation
Ms. Gretchen Raffa Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Ms. Dorothy Robinson Yale University
Mr. Mitch Weisburgh Academic Business Advisors
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 3
CEO Comments

The current board consists of 7 individuals, of which, 3 are people of color, 1 LGBT, and all above the age of 40. 5 out of 7 board members live in Greater New Haven (3 board members live in the City of New Haven). We’re actively looking to add 2-3 board members to the current board and have identified several prospects. Although, we do not have youth on our board, we are open to the idea of incorporating youth board members.

Historically, the YRM board has had a conventional approach to governance in that the board focuses on supports the vision of the Executive Director/Program Director and is actively involved in fundraising and financial management. The board and youth interact approximately 4 times during the calendar year for an open houses, fall and spring showcase, and documentary premier.

 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2013
Fiscal Year End June 30 2014
Projected Revenue $209,821.00
Projected Expenses $209,821.00
Spending Policy N/A
Documents
Form 990s
Form 9902011
Form 9902010
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
Form 9902007
Audit Documents
Audit2008
Audit2007
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS TAX EXEMPT STATUS LETTER
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201220112010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$227,555$359,651$379,995
Government Contributions$7,125$33,684$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$7,125$33,684--
Individual Contributions------
------
$4,335$530$2,320
Investment Income, Net of Losses$75$145--
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other----$449
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Program Expense$194,137$202,128$280,918
Administration Expense$89,813$74,950$7,642
Fundraising Expense$14,001$24,119--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.801.311.33
Program Expense/Total Expenses65%67%97%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%6%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Total Assets$199,862$258,130$167,526
Current Assets$190,626$244,862$145,231
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$5,099$4,506$6,715
Total Net Assets$194,763$253,624$160,811
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201220112010
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Surdna Foundation $70,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Tow Foundation $60,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Vital Projects Fund $50,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities37.3854.3421.63
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments

Our last audited financial statement is from 2008; this is because our budget is less than $500,000, and we are not required by the state to have audit. 

Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile

Address 85 Willow Street
Bldg. A, Fl. 2, Suite 3
New Haven, CT 065112678
Primary Phone 203 776-4034
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa Mangini
Board Chair Mr. Fahd Vahidy
Board Chair Company Affiliation William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

 

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