What Makes Modern Youth Leadership Happen?

Modern Youth Leadership by Adam F.C. Fletcher for the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement

There are many factors driving Modern Youth Leadership. It is important to understand how these factors work and interact, and when taken as a whole, what they can do to change the world. Here are the factors you need to understand if you’re invested in Modern Youth Leadership.

Factors Driving Modern Youth Leadership

There are several things that affect youth leaders today. These are the factors that drive whether or not they become leaders; what kinds of leaders they become; where they lead and how they lead; and why their leadership matters.

Factor 1: Identities—Youth identities are confusing A LOT of adults right now—especially youth workers, teachers and parents! How a young person identifies racially, gender-wise, intellectually, socio-economically and otherwise can determine whether adults see them as leaders, validate their leadership activities, and understand what it is they are leading.

Factor 2: Realities—Every factor here is “real,” and the backgrounds, challenges, trauma and more that young people experience are realities that matter in Modern Youth Leadership. Adults can recognize these realities as the truth that youth experience and work from that place, as many young people identify specifically with these realities.

Factor 3: Opportunities—The places, spaces and issues addressed by young people who lead are showing the times young people lead the world. These opportunities can be simply acknowledged and lifted up to demonstrate how Modern Youth Leadership occurs, or they can be accentuated and legitimized through adult eyes.

Factor 4: Possibilities—The potential of Modern Youth Leadership knows no bounds, and young people themselves show that constantly. This factor drives youth leaders like no other because it both reveals where the world is and shows everyone where it could go. Through possibilities Modern Youth Leadership becomes endlessly important and eternally vital.

These are just some of the factors affecting Modern Youth Leadership. What do you think? What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Modern Youth Leadership by Adam F.C. Fletcher for the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement

Why should we care? | Who are Modern Youth Leaders? | What do youth care about? | What do youth leaders do? | Can Modern Youth Leadership help? | What difference can adults make? | What Makes Modern Youth Leadership happen? | Can I help? | What stops youth leaders? | What help is available for Modern Youth Leadership?

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