If you want to make a difference and help others while learning about sexual health and keeping yourself safe, then you need to join SMART Youth! You can come to any of our events around the city or come to one of our movie nights or Open Mic events. Check out our schedule to learn what we are doing or call Janet at (917) 471-0216/e-mail

Friday, April 11, 2014

National Women & Girls Day Advocacy Project

Check out SMART Youth's newest video, featuring artwork from our advocacy project in honor of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Delicious and Healthy Food at SMART Body Youth!

During the second week of our SMART Body Youth cooking class we created and ate so much delicious food! This class was led by a current SMART Body instructor for our women’s program, Tawnya. On the menu was a bean and cheese salad, asparagus and gruyere panini, BLTA wraps, and turkey chili.

Janet practicing her food safety by wearing an apron and a hairnet!

The favorite creation of the night was the asparagus and gruyere panini. Who knew that adding vegetables to a panini would taste so good?! Thanks to Tawnya for these healthy food items that we can now make and bring to school or work for lunch!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First SMART Youth Cooking Class of the Semester

This past Friday was our first SMART Youth cooking class! Along with our facilitator Lena, a certified dietician and chef, we whipped up healthy and easy-to-make breakfast recipes that we can cook quickly in the morning. We made delicious homemade granola that went into a yogurt parfait, as well as assembled hearty and protein-rich breakfast burritos that everyone loved. In addition, our youth learned proper food safety skills, how to safely and effectively handle knives, and cooking basics, such as chopping, sautéing, and seasoning. We even found out that several of our youth already know their way around the kitchen! We had a blast, learned tons of important nutritional info, and practiced some necessary kitchen basics so that our youth feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

This Friday, we’ll be in the kitchen again preparing some amazing recipes created by one of our favorite facilitators, including a bean salad, vegetable paninis, and turkey chili! We’re looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reminder: SMART Youth Body Starts this Friday!

Know Your Rights 101: What to Do If the Police Stop You

Last Friday, we were fortunate to have Ayisha Irfan, a trained facilitator provided through the New York Civil Liberties Union, come talk to us about our rights and responsibilities if we are stopped by the police. As young people living in New York City it is crucial that we know our rights, especially in our interactions with the police. This is a complicated matter, so we had a lot of questions for her! Here are a few take-aways:
  • You have the right to not speak and everything you say can be used against you. It is advisable to not tell the police anything except your name and address.  In New York you are not required to carry ID and you don’t have to show ID to a police officer unless you are issued a summons, arrested, or driving a vehicle.
  • A frisk is when the police pat down your outer clothing because they suspect you pose a danger to them or others. A frisk is legal and you should not resist a pat-down.
  • A search is when the police search your pockets, belongings, or car. If an office asks you to empty your pockets or belongings, do not do it! Legally, you have to consent to this search, and you should clearly state, “I do not consent to this search.” You should also state this if an officer reaches into your pockets and belongings. This may not stop the search from happening, but will protect your rights if you have to go to court.
It is important to recognize the need for law enforcement to perform their job effectively and safely, but we also need to make sure that our own rights and responsibilities are being honored!

We left the workshop feeling confident in our abilities to assert our rights and with a better understanding of the police’s responsibilities. Together, we can work together to make our communities safer!
For more information check out NYCLU's websiteprint out their What To Do If You Are Stopped By The Police Palm Card, or download their iPhone app “Know Your Rights.”

Pixels Don't Define Me!

For National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we hosted "Pixels Don't Define Me," an event focused on women and the media and the devastating effects that the media can have on the way we see ourselves as women. We had a wonderful and engaging conversation around this issue as well as learned what we can do to fight back against this unhealthy phenomenon. We had a great time and even created art pieces around what makes each of us unique! Check it out!