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 e-mail

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!


Taxes 101: What's a Refund? And How Do I Get One?


It’s that time of year again! That’s right, tax time. And in order to ensure that all of our youth are prepared for this important life skill and will get their maximum refund, we had a special tax workshop so that we could all learn the basics. Here is what we learned:

  • We learned about all of the different taxes, including income tax and social security as well as more indirect taxes such as applying for a license.
  • We learned which tax forms we should use depending on our job, how to properly fill out these tax forms, and all of the things for which we might take deductions.
  • We learned about some of the many different government services for which our taxes are actually used and from which we all benefit.

This workshop was highly informative and incredibly useful for all of us in learning how to properly do our taxes so that we fully comply with the law and still get the best refund we can. We love covering subjects such as these in SMART Youth because these are necessary skills and knowledge for all of our youth to have moving forward in their lives.Because you know what they say: the only certainties in life are death and taxes!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Event:
Pixels Don't Define Me

Friday, March 7, 2014

SMART Youth Presents: Pixels Don't Define Me!

In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, SMART Youth will host a free event for young women, ages 14-22, on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 5pm-8pmThe event will take place at SCAN LaGuardia – 307 East 116th Street, New York, NY 10029 (between 1st and 2nd Avenues).  There will be food and raffle prizes for all who attend.

The theme of our event will explore Young Women and Media, especially regarding the ideas of gender roles, relationships, sexuality and body images.  We will have workshops that can address both the current climate of mainstream media and what are young women doing to re-claim their voice.

Check out our flyer for all the details and hope to see you on Friday, March 14th!


Monday, March 3, 2014

SMART Youth Calendar March & April 2014

SMART Youth is excited to share our March and April calendar. You are invited to come by and join us for any of our meetings.  See you soon!


Ideas for the Future!

This past Friday we took a moment to think about the past six months and the highs and the lows. We also spent time thinking about what we want to take on for the rest of the year.

To creatively express our ideas we had an artistic SMART Youth leader draw a tree and we put our ideas on colorful leaves to put on the tree. We are excited to bring these ideas to life!



We are looking forward to our National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event, "Pixels Don't Define Me." Stay tuned for more information about the event!