The Civic Empowerment Gap

While much of the country faces a civic education deficit, the problem is heightened in low-income communities. Valuable civic education and empowerment opportunities are often unequally distributed, leaving the most marginalized youth the least prepared to enact solutions for community needs – now or in the future.

Disparities in civic knowledge, civic disposition, civic motivation and civic skills between low-income, minority youth and wealthier white youth have been termed the “civic empowerment gap.”

The Impact of the Civic Empowerment Gap

Studies prove that the character of youth can be tied to the socioeconomic background of the community where they reside.

Youth in low-income communities are more susceptible to poor character choices than youth in healthier communities.

This problem stems from the disappearance of civic empowerment, character and civic education in schools, and church engagement from these communities. The lack of these resources creates a civic empowerment gap.

The civic empowerment gap dispropotionately impacts low-income communities. This gap stems from the disappearance of active engagement in the decisions that affect our lives as well as a lack of vital resources.

Closing the Gap

Youth Revive provides character and civic education to help close the civic empowerment gap for youth in low-income communities.

Our curriculum teaches students how to match community needs with solutions. Students learn the value of working collaboratively to solve a community issue through our community action project groups.

Participants gain skills needed to create shifts in the community, including self-regulation, networking, conflict resolution,  public speaking, and more. Our program’s outcomes ultimately lead to students becoming active and caring community citizens.

By addressing the root cause issue of the civic empowerment gap, we are developing youth who want to rebuild, reconnect, and revive their community and positively impact other societal issues.

Our Impact

Of the 271 students who participated in our program during the 2019-2020 school year, the following demonstrated increased levels of agreement in:


knowing the four categories of a community asset map


planning to work with a group to solve issues in their community


identifying assets in their community who would be willing to help find a solution to an issue

Measures of Success

Civic Knowledge

Students are more knowledgeable of core concepts related to advocacy. Students are better able to identify issues and address problems in the community.

Civic Motivation

Students have more desire to bring value to the community, actively participate in the political process, and take action on community issues. Students have more desire to volunteer time, gifts, and abilities to improve the community.

Civic Disposition

Students develop private and public character traits essential to the maintenance and improvement of communities.

Civic Skills

Students develop abilities necessary to participate as active and responsible citizens, including the abilities to think critically, problem-solve, and work collaboratively. Students have more understanding of skills that can be offered to impact community change.

College Readiness

Students develop Reading, Writing and Research skills necessary to demonstrate college readiness.

We measure these outcomes through pre- and post-semester surveys and use CNM-pact, a data visualization software, to analyze and report our data.