What is the Youth Institute?

The Youth Institute is a teen program focusing on creative digital media: film production, graphic design, photography, and much more, all the while supporting our teens with a meaningful community along the way. Originating from the Youth Institute in Long Beach, CA, the Youth Institute here started at the YMCA of Rapid City in 2012. From there, it has continued to grow amongst the community quickly, achieving a recognition award for providing a program that develops the youth in leadership, academic success, and teaching high tech workforce skills. The Youth Institute’s main focus is over the Summer, but also provides an after-school program to keep the youth to continue developing their skills.

The Summer Program:

From early June to late July, the youth embark on an eight week program where they start off with a camping trip to build their teamwork skills and make lifelong friendships. After that, they learn more about technology and media, from programs like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Celtx, and more. While learning those programs, they work in their groups to create a short film from screenwriting, all the way to editing the final cut. They also work on writing their own magazine article individually. At the end of the summer, a graduation is hosted to showcase all the work that they did throughout the program.

The School Year:

During the school year, the Youth Institute provides a place for the youth to come in after school ends. During the school year, the teens are able to work on their homework, work on badges to help them grow their media skills and proceed to other YI levels (ex. Alumni, Specialist, Mentor, and Staff), or work on curriculums provided each week, ranging from media based projects, STEM projects, to even cooking.

If you’d like to reach out for more questions, you can contact us at rcyimedia@gmail.com