Mission: To empower promising youth leaders to drive positive impact in Tulsa right now and into the future.
Vision: A future where Tulsa is a model city for youth-driven impact. The youth are core catalysts for impact in their communities, and communities are actively engaged in identifying, developing, and empowering youth as leaders. Tulsa is consistently cultivating highly effective community leaders eager to empower successive generations.
In their first year of Teach For America in Tulsa in 2015, Jake Lerner and Andrew Spector recognized two things: first, their 5th and 6th grade classrooms were filled with exceptional young people capable of creating positive impact in Tulsa right now, and second, although they (as TFA corps members) were being told by the Tulsa community that they were valuable community assets, their students were not always getting the same message. Jake and Andrew started Tulsa Changemakers because they believe the youth of Tulsa and their families are critical community assets. They are driven by their conviction that long-term and sustainable community transformation happens when communities are mobilized to drive their own change.
Tulsa Changemakers is a semester long, 25-session afterschool youth leadership development and action program that empowers elementary, middle, and high school students, exclusively from Title I Schools in Tulsa Public Schools and Union Public Schools, to make meaningful change in their schools and communities. Tulsa Changemakers specializes in an asset-based and youth-driven approach to community impact. Elementary, middle, and high school cohorts leverage their unique perspectives, conduct listening campaigns to identify community strengths and challenges, and work collaboratively to drive real and measurable change. In the process, youth form meaningful relationships with influential people and organizations, build skills in leadership and design thinking, and generate momentum for success in school and beyond. Changemakers develop a high level of civic responsibility, personal agency, and connection to Tulsa.
Tulsa Changemakers also runs the Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent’s Student Cabinet, supports non-profits in launching Youth Advisory Boards through Teens on Board, and works with their Alumni Committee to carry out a host of alumni programs. In 2019-20, Tulsa Changemakers is piloting the Power of Youth Alumni Space to support alumni in continuing to build leadership skills and in carrying out community impact projects.
Tulsa Changemakers currently operates their afterschool program at the following schools: Boevers Elementary, Celia Clinton Elementary, Ellen Ochoa Elementary, Eugene Field Elementary, Kendall Whittier Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, Roy Clark Elementary, Springdale Elementary, Collegiate Hall Charter School, East Central Junior High, Monroe Middle School Complex, Tulsa Honor Academy, Will Rogers Junior High, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, McLain High School, Nathan Hale High School, and Phoenix Rising.
Interested in getting involved with Tulsa Changemakers? Email Jake Lerner at email@example.com.