The Providence Student Union (PSU) is a youth-led student organizing program whose mission is to build the collective power of students across Providence to ensure youth have a real say in the decisions affecting their education.
PSU was founded when students from Providence’s Hope High School joined together to resist program cuts at their school. The process of organizing to successfully restore this programming helped student leaders realize that the issue they had been fighting was just a symptom of a larger problem: students’ lack of power and control over their education. To remedy this, youth worked to expand their group into a youth-led organization with chapters in six Providence high schools, two staff members, a growing list of notable campaign victories, and the leadership of a powerful team of student leaders committed to organizing for the high-quality education they deserved.
The Providence Student Union’s vision of social change is based on the principle that justice can only be won in lasting ways when impacted communities themselves unite together to work for the changes they believe in. From this principle comes PSU’s model: organize low-income youth of color to make positive changes in the here and now by working to build student power within their schools, while strengthening the movement for social and economic justice in the long term by developing students to become leaders who will continue to bring their communities together to work for change long after they have graduated.