Inspired by The Ocean Project's research findings on the influence of youth and the public's trust in zoos, aquariums and museums and affiliated with The Ocean Project, YouthMuse jumpstarts teen-led, museum-based campaigns for social and environmental change and advocates for teen engagement. The campaign model impacts engaged teens who want to take what they've learned and become advocates, cultural organizations that already work with teens in learning-focused areas but have little experience in community advocacy, and the wider community, which wants recommendations for personal environmental action and sees youth as change agents.
As creators of a campaign, teens learn critical thinking, communication and persuasion skills, and to work as a team. Campaign participants take personal action and inspire peers to take action through online media and face-to-face activities. Success fosters civic engagement and builds teen confidence, leadership and empowerment. The result is an authentic teen movement at the intersection of culture and societal needs.
Current environmental campaigns include Seattle Aquarium's P.S. (Puget Sound): We Love You, www.facebook.com/psweloveyou; North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher's Beach Reach, www.facebook.com/youthbeachreach; New York Aquarium's Project Ripple, www.facebook.com/projectripple; and OWN: One With Nature, www.facebook.com/onewithnatureteenz, which includes support and mentors from Chicago Botanic Garden, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and YouthMuse. The Ocean Project is a supporter of all four of these campaigns.