Rockaway Youth Task Force : #SquadGoals 2016

2016 is a very special year for the Rockaway Youth Task Force (RYTF). This year marks 5 years of fighting, organizing, and building power by uplifting the voices of the Rockaway Peninsula’s young people. RYTF’s leadership team has spent the past few months reflecting on how far we’ve come and the journey that lies ahead. We have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time and we have no intentions of slowing down. To help focus our work, we’ve set two goals that will guide our decision making over the next year. The first is to strengthen our base of support through increased membership and the creation of our community advisory board. The second is to strengthen our communication practices.

Our members are the lifelines of our organization and over the years we have seen a steady increase in our membership. However, this year, we aim to double our membership and recruit 60 new members. We will reach our goal by taking our mission to the streets. Our members will go door-to-door and block-by-block to raise awareness of our cause and recruit youths, ages 15 to 25, to join our movement.  In order for us to grow and create change in our community, we must continue to engage and empower the young people of Rockaway.

In addition to growing our membership, we recognize that our base extends beyond young people. There is much to be learned from our community and RYTF wants to build and fortify relationships with more experienced Rockaway residents. With this in mind, RYTF will work to create a community advisory board (CAB). Forming a CAB will allow our organization to develop meaningful relationships with older residents and it will serve as a conduit for an intergenerational exchange of ideas. Our CAB will allow RYTF to learn from mentors in our community who will encourage and support our work.

In terms of communication, we admit that we can become so focused on the task at hand that we forget that we have a duty to report back to our community. That’s why in 2016, we are striving to increase our interactions with the public via our blog and a new monthly column in The Wave newspaper. We feel that we cannot achieve our goals if the community is not aware of who we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re working to make a difference. We are the only ones who can tell our story and we commit to keeping our neighbors and fellow community members abreast of our goals and actions. Effective communication is the key to our growth and success.

We invite you to join us on this incredible journey. In 2016, we will have many exciting things to share with you including our new office and the expansion of our food justice program, just to name a few. So if you’re not a member, join. If you can’t join, become a monthly sustainer of our work by making a donation or by simply spreading the word.