Engaging youth as activity leaders in nonprofits, community organizations, and other areas includes young people facilitating, teaching, guiding, directing, and otherwise leading youth, adults, and children in a variety of ways.
Ways Youth can Change the World as Activity Leaders
Youth as Cultural Facilitators — Young people can do more than simply learn about culture. Instead, youth engagement can happen with youth as essential leaders, drivers and motivators of culture, heritage and history. A few activities they can lead include teaching native languages, being hired as historical tour guides, or facilitating workshops on youth culture.
Youth-Led Afterschool Spaces — Everyday, millions of children and youth are challenged to find meaningful, substantive activities in their out-of-school time. Whether through homework assistance, tutoring, community enrichment, or other activities, youth engagement can happen when young people drive and direct their own afterschool spaces.
Service Learning Programs — Learning through service can build youth engagement in powerful, positive, practical ways. Youth engagement can happen through identifying their genuine interests, building their skills and abilities to affect change, positioning youth as planners and researchers, and supporting them facilitating social change.
Things Young People need to Change the World as Activity Leaders
Training — Supporting youth engagement through deliberate skill-building and knowledge-sharing activities can help increase motivation, determination, impact and sustainability. Afterschool activities need increased capacities among everyone involved – youth too!
Inspiration — It’s not enough to simply throw youth into afterschool activities and expect they will get engaged. Helping them identify their authentic interests can lead to inspiration, as well as meaningfully connecting with other youth and adult allies within and throughout their lives. Inspiration happens a lot of different ways.
Evaluation — Encouraging, allowing and empowering youth through constant reflection is essential to successful youth engagement. However, engaging young people in significant evaluation activities is key to sustaining successful engagement. Youth can be fully engaged and lead efforts focused on quantitative and qualitative assessments, data aggregation, and critical perspectives.
- Youth as Facilitators
- Youth as Teachers
- Youth-Led Programs
- The Freechild Project Youth Engagement Workshop Guide
- Raising Our Youth as Leaders (ROYAL) Program by Therapeutic Health Services
- Merino School District: Engaging Youth as Leaders in School Wellness by The Colorado Education Initiative
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 leading activities in your community or organization, contact us.