Chinatown Youth Initiatives

Building Identity through Exploration


CYI Impact Questionnaire

Self Discovery Questionnaire

Self Discovery Explorer

Impact Report


"How Youth Community Groups Change Kids’ Lives, Visualized" Fast Company, November 12, 2014

How do we quantify the value of a safe space for self-expression in the lives of young people?

Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI) plays an important role in equipping New York City youth with knowledge and skills necessary to address the needs of Chinatown, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented communities. But the impact of community building programs like CYI isn't always easy to measure. Building a stronger individual or community isn't easily measured with consistent metrics. This is what we addressed in our impact report.

Students fill out the Self Discovery Questionnaire online.

Until now, nuanced ideas like culture, identity, and feelings have been hard to quantify. Complex social dynamics at play in communities are largely invisible and often go under-valued in research and evaluation. We designed a cognitive evaluation process for CYI members to be able to express in quantitative terms how CYI compares to other environments in their lives. We reveal the very immediate impact of CYI on the cognitive wellbeing of its members.

The emotional imprints of CYI and School represent their impact on CYI students.

This report reveals that for most members, CYI is the most positive space in their lives by a significant margin. Contrasted with the emotional imprints of other spaces like home and school, it is quite possible that CYI may be the most impactful space for some members during the critical teenage years of self-development. Youth seek out spaces like CYI, because they are looking for a feeling of agency that is lacking from one or more of their other spaces.