About Us

CITIZEN U uses a Cornell Cooperative Extension Signature program, Youth Community Action (YCA), as a model for promoting civic engagement, workforce preparation, and asset development among youth (14-18) in Broome and Monroe/Wayne counties.


“CITIZEN U” stands for “CITIZEN YOU” and is a metaphor for creating a “University” environment in which young people are empowered to become active citizens and community change agents. At CITIZEN U, teens participate in weekly afterschool “seminars”, taught by community partners and “visiting professors” from Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and other community agencies and organizations. Teens learn how to implement community improvement projects that they design. Teens choose a CITIZEN U “major” and “enroll in courses” focused on food security, climate change, sustainable energy, prevention of childhood obesity, and other important community issues. During summers, CITIZEN U teens are employed for six to eight weeks as they conduct community improvement projects planned during the school year.

Here are the schools at CITIZEN U:
School of Business & Entrepreneurship
School of Community Development
School of Environmental Studies
School of Food & Nutrition
School of Performing Arts
School of Technology & Media Arts

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

Last updated November 13, 2014