Raising 100,000 Voices

About Raising 100,000 Voices


Raising 100,000 Voices is a community education project where 13-24 year olds receive the tools necessary to learn how to create short films focused on an issue.  The Raising 100,000 Voices filmmakers will use these videography skills and tools to create a video that documents the strengths and challenges that they encounter as they work towards becoming healthy adults.

Over the course of several months, participants work to produce a three-minute video on an issue that is of relevance to them growing up in the Greater Rochester community.  Youth filmmakers will learn to present the issue, their point of view, and provide solutions or goals for other youth in the community.

This project is co-led by Ann Marie White, Ed.D. at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, and Shelley Figueroa at WXXI Public Broadcasting. Past funders have included The Tauck Foundation, National Center for Outreach and Marie C. & Joseph C. Wilson Foundation.


Project History:

Over 100,000 15-24 year olds live in Monroe County and currently face the transition of leaving their childhood homes and schools to become successful and independent adults. Starting in early 2005, WXXI teamed up as equal partners with The University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Psychiatry Office of Mental Health Promotion (OMHP) and began working with area organizations sensitive to the gaps in services when youth they serve “age out” of the systems designed to help children.  WXXI and OMHP partnered with organizations from several community sectors such as health, social services, courts, and education to initiate a community dialog about this age group and a community coalition called “The Roadwork for Success in Young Adulthood.”  The dialog underscored a need: to engage older teens and young adults in defining the community need and response.  As a result, WXXI and OMHP worked collaboratively with local and regional organizations to engage older teens and young adults from traditionally disadvantaged segments of the population in a “video voice” community education program called Raising 100,000 Voices (representing the approximate 100,000 15-24 year olds in Monroe County who are emerging into adulthood). 

The project provides youth the opportunity to learn about videography and to document their strengths and challenges transitioning into adulthood. Student videos are now available on the web. View video

About Roadwork for Success In Young Adulthood

Roadwork for Success is a community-wide coalition to develop solutions for 15-24 year olds in western and central NY.  Key Steering Committee members are from Hillside Children's Center, Monroe County Family Court, University of Rochester Medical Center,  Rochester City School District, High Falls Film Festival, Grace United Methodist Church, Eastman Kodak Company, Saint Joseph's Villa and WXXI. 

Community Project Partners 2013-2014

Charles Settlement House – Teens Active in Civic Engagement (T.A.C.E.)
Citizen U – North/South
The Community Place of Greater Rochester
Dazzle School of Visual & Performing Arts
Office of Mental Health Promotion of University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester STEM High School at Edison Tech
RCSD Frank Fowler Dow School No. 52
Thomas P. Ryan Center
Y.E.P.P. of Grace Community Village, Inc.
Youth on the Move (Monroe County)

Project Partners List from Past Project Years