WHAT WE BELIEVE
The HYPE Center was founded and operates under the following guiding principles:
- Listening to youth — We believe in inviting and encouraging youth to have a central and active role in defining and refining the HYPE Center.
- Fostering self-determination — We believe youth are their own primary agents of change and we exist as a resource in supporting their process when helpful to them.
- Uplifting strengths and lived experiences — We believe youth are multi-faceted and we highlight their strengths and lived-experiences to support, empower, and further develop them into fierce advocates for themselves.
- Prioritizing harm reduction — We believe in meeting young people within the realities of their lives while supporting their agency to make positive change.
- Cultivating the well-being of our community — We believe well-being is a priority in transformative work. We encourage, support, and invest in healing modalities for our youth, team, and partners, especially those that are culturally enriching.
- Prioritizing the development of organic supports beyond “the system" — We believe in playing a role in connecting youth to others to build their support network that will help them best meet their own needs.
- Making services and resources more accessible to youth — We believe things should be as low barrier as possible (e.g., location, eligibility, paperwork, etc.).
- We believe in emphasizing inclusivity with regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, ability, lived experience, and more.
- We believe in prioritizing the needs of those most impacted by commercial sexual exploitation, homelessness, and systematic oppression.
- Promoting youth leadership development — We believe in focusing on the continuous goal of addressing the restructuring and/or dismantling and reallocation of resources that play a role in the overall list of systemic barriers for youth.