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Potential Youth Mainstreaming Activities

Youth Mainstreaming by The Freechild Project<< Chapter IV: Critical Elements | Chapter VI: Next Steps >>

There are many activities that can be part of your organization or community’s Youth Mainstreaming strategy. They include the following activities.

  • Youth Action Councils — Woven into the lifeblood of an organization or community, YACs can build commitment, action and outcomes into Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth as Activists — Focused on specific issues and tangible outcomes, youth activists can move Youth Mainstreaming into a powerful, positive place for everyone.
  • Youth as Activity Leaders — Leading learning, socializing, community building and other activities can empower youth throughout organizations and communities.
  • Youth as Advisors — Providing key wisdom, knowledge and ideas, Youth Mainstreaming can empower youth as advisors through action and outcomes.
  • Youth as Advocates — Standing up for what matters to their families and communities can allow youth as advocates to move Youth Mainstreaming forward.
  • Youth as Artists — Using and developing their art through Youth Mainstreaming can reposition youth from being passive and active members in society.
  • Youth as Board Directors — Youth Mainstreaming requires youth are fully able to transform schools, organizations and government. Being board directors can be key.
  • Youth as Decision Makers — Engaged as personal, organizational and community decision-makers, young people can move the Youth Mainstreaming strategy further.
  • Youth as Designers — Using science, strategy and planning, youth as designers can move Youth Mainstreaming to deeper and more powerful effects.
  • Youth as Evaluators — Assessing and evaluating youth activities, community action and more can move Youth Mainstreaming toward broad social acceptance.
  • Youth as Facilitators — Guiding and directing activities for youth and communities, Youth Mainstreaming actively engages youth facilitators throughout.
  • Youth Forums — Positioning youth voice as more than information, youth forums make Youth Mainstreaming a meaningful opportunity to transform communities.
  • Youth as Grant-Makers — Youth Mainstreaming puts youth-led philanthropy in action, providing powerful opportunities to support what matters to them.
  • Youth as Lobbyists — Standing up for what matters to them among lawmakers and moving agenda through the political process is key for Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth as Media Makers — Rather than being the target of media or passive recipients, in Youth Mainstreaming media is made by youth for communities.
  • Youth as Mediators — As key partners in restorative justice, Youth Mainstreaming can engage youth as mediators in community and interpersonal conflicts.
  • Youth as Mentors — Sharing their their knowledge and ideas with adult allies and vice versa, Youth Mainstreaming can rely on engaging youth as mentors.
  • Youth as Organizers — Creating community organizing campaigns is part of many nonprofits, and engaging youth as organizers can embolden Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth as Planners — Planning activities, developing programs and hiring or firing adult and youth staff can drive Youth Mainstreaming in powerful ways.
  • Youth as Policy-Makers — Young people can become engaged as full and complete partners in policy-making bodies of all kinds, including schools and governments.
  • Youth as Recruiters — Recruiting communities, families, peers and friends, young people can provide powerful influence and inspiration for Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth as Researchers — Youth can study things in ways that adults cannot. Participatory research positions youth as examiners of what affects them most.
  • Youth as Specialists — After examining and studying what matters, establishing the knowledge of youth as specialists can be central to Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth Summits — Conducting conferences and summits to build consensus and create collective action plans can be a powerful outcome of Youth Mainstreaming.
  • Youth as Teachers — Teaching adults, younger people and their peers about what issues that matter to them can be a powerful Youth Mainstreaming strategy.
  • Youth as Trainers — Building the skills and knowledge of participants can be the key to successful Youth Mainstreaming, especially when youth facilitating training.
  • Youth as Volunteers — As equally invested partners, engaging youth as volunteers within organizations and communities can move Youth Mainstreaming forward.
  • Youth as Workers — Staffing the organizations and communities that adopt Youth Mainstreaming strategies can empower and infuse young people in deep  ways.


This list is just a description of some ways that Youth Mainstreaming happens. In order to implement a powerful, effective strategy it can be essential to identify next steps.


Youth Mainstreaming by The Freechild Project<< Chapter IV: Critical Elements | Chapter VI: Next Steps >>



Share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support Youth Mainstreaming in your community or organization, contact us.

By Adam Fletcher

Adam is a co-founder and longtime leader of Freechild. He has spoke at conferences, written publications, taught people, and consulted organizations about youth voice, youth engagement, youth-led social change, youth/adult partnerships and more. Learn more about him at

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