HISTORY & ORIGIN

Community Tampa Bay has had a variety of year-round opportunities for ANYTOWN® graduates over the years, from Youth Congress to Hillsborough Youth Collaborative (HYC) to Facilitating the Leadership of Youth (FLY). These ANYTOWN® graduates implemented service projects, created public service education campaigns, advocated for youth voice in the Tampa Bay area, and hosted youth-led community dialogues. Why not just do what we did before?

Because we are always taking things to the next level.

Young people today are busier and more involved than ever in their schools and communities despite numerous institutional barriers. Youth are leading the way in influencing the culture of our communities and promoting inclusion, while old and new policies and laws that reinforce or perpetuate discrimination continue to govern our lives. If our political leaders are making decisions about the direction of our communities, they need to hear from the young people who make up those communities.

To address this need, ANYTOWN® Fall Youth Leadership Academy was started in 2016. The inaugural cohort prepared and presented proposals for change to decision makers in the Tampa Bay area at the Advocacy in Action Summit. The next year, we changed the name to ANYTOWN® Advocacy Academy and cohorts began traveling to the Florida Capitol to advocacte for change with our state legislators.

There is a history to the work we do. There is also a future. Learn more about that future.