Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) collaborates with its community to do “whatever it takes for all ACS students to thrive.” Each of its programs has evolved out of collaborations and listening projects rooted throughout schools and communities in Asheville. ACSF employs an impactful model for moving beyond just listening to youth to giving them the platform, professional development, and paycheck to make real change. ACSF will share how youth leadership has transformed the ways the organization engages with its education community, partners, funders, and itself, and will discuss the continuation and expansion of its interconnected student leadership opportunities, including DREAM Team High School Internship Program, Racial Equity Ambassador Program, and ACSF Student Board of Director positions. By integrating the lived experiences and expertise of its students, ACSF is effectively addressing the practices, biases, and environment of the public schools while building the capacity of our youth to act as leaders in our city and state.
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