This space is for youth who have experienced our programs and now would like to learn to lead spaces on their own! This training prepares youth ages 13-21 to step into the role of facilitator by teaching them how to lead their own writing workshops, open mics, and SLAM Clubs. After training, YouthLeads members are invited to paid opportunities to lead After School Workshops and host Under 21 Open Mics.


December 6-9 + 15, 2021 on Zoom


June 13-17, 2022 in San Francisco
(as part of the SPOKES summer youth conference)

Workshop Facilitation Training

Led by Sandy Vázquez and Hieu Minh Nguyen

If you’ve been rocking with us for a while, you may know that our workshops are where the magic happens; and our Poet Mentors are ready to pass the baton to YOU! Join the Youth Speaks squad for a 2-day training called Youth Leads: Teaching Writing Workshops, where youth will build their skills as arts educators and leave ready to lead their own workshop. You will:

  • Learn about Youth Speaks’ approach to arts education
  • Create your own lesson plan
  • Explore and develop workshop topics that are important to you
  • Practice your skills and get paid to facilitate a Youth Speaks After School Workshop after you’ve completed this training!

MC Training

Led by EJ Walls and Aleah Bradshaw

If you’ve ever been to one of our Under 21 open Mics, you know that this is the space where we get free! Join us for Youth Leads: Hosting Open Mics, a 2-day workshop designed to introduce you to how we at Youth Speaks MC events and prepare you to fill in this role for future Youth Speaks events and even your own! In this training, you will:

  • Learn about Youth Speaks’ approach to curating and leading performance spaces
  • Develop your voice as an event host and MC
  • Write your own MC spiel
  • Practice your skills and get paid to MC a Youth Speaks Under 21 Open Mic after you’ve completed this training!

S.L.A.M. Club Training

Led by Gabriel Cortez and Hieu Minh Nguyen

The best way to bring Youth Speaks to your school, library, or organization is to start a club of your own. S.L.A.M. stands for Student-Led Arts Movement and by starting your own club, you will get invaluable learning how to build, develop, and deepen the spoken word movement in your community. In addition to leading their own meeting, workshops, and events, S.L.A.M. Clubs also bring their teams to compete at the Unified Poetry Slam every April. Come to this session to learn about the opportunities and expectations that come along with being an official S.L.A.M. club, as well as get ideas for getting your club going. In this training, you will:

  • Learn how to start your own S.L.A.M. Club
  • Learn how to get support from your peers and adult allies with your club
  • Learn how to form a team to compete at the Unified Poetry Slam
  • Connect and build with other youth interested in starting S.L.A.M. Clubs at their schools, libraries, and organizations

Note: this session will be open to both youth interested in starting their own slam club as well as adult allies who work with young folks in an effort to create a space of collaboration and community building. We will specifically be inviting educators who have participated in our Bay Area Educators for Youth Voice program to participate in this session