Training can mean many things. When they train adults, youth, children, and others, young people can share their wisdom, ideas, knowledge, attitudes, actions, and processes in order to guide programs, nurture organization and community cultures, and change the world. Roles for youth as trainers can build youth/adult partnerships, engage diversity in practical ways, and build communities that everyone can benefit from beyond their ages.
Youth as Public Health Educators — In addition to reaching their peers effectively, youth public health trainers can teach their families and their communities in general about important public health issues, including drug abuse, sanitation. disease prevention and other topics.
Youth/Adult Partnerships and Youth Voice — Facilitating educational and training opportunities for their peers and others, youth trainers can expand organizational horizons, build community capacity and develop new approaches for youth workers, adult educators, nonprofit workers and others to foster youth/adult partnerships and engage youth voice.
Technology Teachers — Educating adults, their peers and young children about technology can allow youth to develop skills and knowledge, as well as create opportunities to develop their critical literacy and coding abilities. When youth are engaged as technology teachers they can contribute fantastically to their present and future, developing knowledge and skills needed for the rest of their lives.
Education — Educating young people about the knowledge and abilities they need to empower others to create new dynamic and engaging opportunities for learning and teaching. Youth can learn through action and empowerment, given real-world goals, interactive activities and community-oriented opportunities to interact with the world beyond themselves.
Action — Using training as a way to activate others can happen through service learning, experiential education and other avenues. However, using that action to actually impact the world they live in and contribute to every day is essential.
Empowerment — Being able to train, teach, educate and facilitate others isn’t necessarily empowering. Instead, empowerment only becomes obvious when its made explicit in the eyes of the learner and the trainer. Empowerment through training others can happen by moving beyond rote memorization and toward group learning and interaction.
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 training others in your community or organization, contact us.