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About CitizenU

Citizen U Theater


CITIZEN U uses a Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Signature Program, Youth Community Action (YCA), as a model for promoting civic engagement, workforce preparation, and asset development among youth (14-18 years old) in Broome and Monroe/Wayne counties, as part of the Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Program in New York.

CITIZEN U's five-year plan is ecologically grounded, interdisciplinary and synergistic with national priorities: food security, childhood obesity, climate change, sustainable energy and food safety.

Partners and youth increase their capacity to successfully conduct and sustain YCA programs and make lasting, community improvements. CCE Broome County's CITIZEN U is partnering with Binghamton Housing Authority. Visiting professors from Cornell University, Binghamton University (BU), and BU's Center for Civic Engagement and numerous community organizations will conduct seminars at CITIZEN "University".

At CITIZEN "University"

  • Teens submit applications to be accepted at one of the CITIZEN U "campuses"
  • Teens are trained in Public Adventures
  • Teens select a CITIZEN U major and enroll in university-style seminars
  • During summers, teens are employed and conduct community development projects
  • Teens explore challenging careers, build their resumes and increase the likelihood of going to college

The Schools at CITIZEN "University"

  • School of Business & EntrepreneurshipCitizenU Logo
  • School of Community Development
  • School of Environmental Studies
  • School of Food & Nutrition
  • School of Performing Arts
  • School of Technology & Media Arts

CITIZEN U teen leaders build:

  • Leadership skills
  • Community development skills
  • Developmental assets
  • Workforce/job readiness skills
  • Social capital

For more information, click here.


Vicki Giarratano, Project Director

Kelly Mabee, Project Coordinator


CITIZEN U is part of the Children, Youth and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) Program, Sustainable Community Projects (SCP). The project is supported by Smith Lever funds, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Citizen U Newsletter serves as a communications link for the project team. The newsletter contains "Project Updates" from Cornell University as well as Broome and Monroe/Wayne counties, "Youth Voice News," "Upcoming Events," "CYFAR and CYFERnet News," "Check This Out!" (websites with relevance to Youth Community Action), and "$$ Grant Opportunities $$". The newsletter is distributed at the end of each month.

To receive the newsletter, contact: June P. Mead, CITIZEN U State Project Director and CYFAR Issue Leader CCE-Broome at:

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Last Updated: 10/19/12