Where Youth Engagement Happens

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Organizations that want to engage young people shouldn’t treat them at blank slates.

Instead, they should acknowledge that children and youth live complex lives that are full of different opportunities to become engaged. When adults ask youth and young adults to become engaged in something specific, they are asking whole, complete human beings to disengage from something else. Every young person is 100% human right now, in every way, everyday.

No matter what age young people are, whatever issue or action they’re engaged in is a reflection of what they value. Because of this, it’s easy to assume children and youth have different values than adults.

However, that isn’t the case for many young people. Instead, they frequently and simply don’t know that there are other things they can be engaging in than what they’re currently engaged in.

Places for Youth Engagement

There are so many places that young people can be engaged, and are engaged already. This graphic shows some of them.

Places Young People are Already Engaged by Adam Fletcher for The Freechild Project
This is from the Freechild Project booklet, A Unique Introduction to Youth Engagement.

Some of the places young people can engage in include home and family, school, internet, government, media, sports, work, places of worship, foundations, recreation, politics, health, romantic relationships, neighborhood, arts, stores and shopping, design, social life, cultural settings, farms, other learning, economics, and volunteering.

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Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in your community or organization, contact us.

Freechild Youth Handbook: Get Engaged and Change the World by Adam Fletcher for the Freechild Institute
Freechild Youth Handbook: Get Engaged and Change the World

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