Children Public Speaking

The Why

Technology, digital media, and virtual communications are ubiquitous.

The line between our “digital world” and our “real world” dissolves more and more each year. We (youth and adults) often don’t give ourselves the time and space to reflect on how technology makes us feel, why we use it, and ways to use it for good. This leads to many challenges that spread beyond the “digital world” and impact our well-being and confidence. Digital spaces reflect larger societal trends — the same inequalities we see in our schools, neighborhoods, and organizations impact what happens online.

As young people are growing into their identities, they are simultaneously crafting digital images, sometimes even multiple images that vary based on the platform. The digital world can be overwhelming — an information overload and a bright spotlight. To thrive, teens say they need new types of resources: ones created by and with other teens.

Youth spend a significant amount of time navigating the ever-changing digital landscape, yet they often aren’t at the table or asked to lead efforts to address the opportunities and challenges technology offers.

The Challenge

The Susan Crown Exchange, a Chicago-based foundation launched the ‘Youth Voice in the Digital Age Challenge,’ which aimed to close the chasm by bringing together organizations that support authentic youth leadership. These organizations explored how young people can inspire their peers to use technology in healthy ways and make digital spaces better for everyone. This site includes the resources and strategies that emerged from their projects, free to use for anyone who is supporting youth as they navigate digital life. Learn more about their projects and lessons learned below.

The Susan Crown Exchange

The Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) supports nonprofits that prepare youth to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Today’s youth are growing up in a world that’s more connected by the day. This reality offers both unprecedented challenges and limitless potential. The foundation's Tech & Society program supports solutions that help youth build healthy relationships with technology that will help them thrive in the Digital Age.

Learn more about this work at

This project was supported by the work and facilitation of the Stanford who led and facilitated these organizations for two years through an online and in person community of practice. The website was designed by Ashley Villarreal. ‍