There’s a powerful space where young people and adults can form meaningful, deliberate relationships across generations. Opportunities for youth and intergenerational partnerships can happen throughout community settings, for cultural, educational, social, business, religious and other purposes.
Ways Youth are Changing the World through Intergenerational Partnerships
Youth as Mentors — Intentionally creating transparent and mutually beneficial mentorships between young people and adults can help establish intergenerational partnerships. These mentorships focus on reciprocity and empathy, and engage everyone involved as equitable mentors.
Staff Members — Engaging young people and adults as co-staff in nonprofits, government agencies, schools and other community settings can allow intergenerational partnerships to flourish. Communication, trust, meaningful involvement, and resources can allow staff members to succeed through intergenerational partnerships.
Living History Projects — Young people can be essential partners who collect, edit, compile and share the stories and lessons of elders and seniors throughout our communities. Living history projects can share the tools they need, make connections they benefit from, educate individuals and the community about the project, and engage young people as partners. Intergenerational partnerships are the keys to successful projects.
Things Youth Need to Change the World through Intergenerational Partnerships
Inspiration — Given the general absence of authentic intergenerational partnerships throughout our society, young people and adults needs inspiration to get engaged together. These stories and lessons are opportunities to grow motivation, build self-confidence and encourage enthusiasm for intergenerational partnerships.
Internet — The internet can allow young people and adults to form healthy, whole and productive intergenerational partnerships with purpose and potential. Using social media, websites, search engines and Wikipedia can allow intergenerational partnerships to be equitable, meaningful and productive for everyone involved.
Training — Intergenerational partnerships aren’t an inherently obvious thing. Training for young people and adults to learn skills like non-violent communication, conflict resolution and teambuilding can be enhanced with training in adultism and age discrimination.
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 intergenerational partnerships in your community or organization, contact us.