As young people build their knowledge, skills and abilities to change the world, they should have positive, purposeful opportunities to develop and expand their commitment to positive social change. Youth-led programs are opportunities created by individuals and organizations where youth lead planning, decision-making, facilitation, reflection and evaluation on issues that matter to them, using actions they want to use. Through youth/adult partnerships, adults can act in supportive, engaging ways. However, youth always maintain the lead, direction and authority.
Students should not only be trained to live in a democracy when they grow up; they should have the chance to live in one today. — Alfie Kohn
- Actions for Youth to Change the World
- Issues Youth are Changing the World Through
- Strategies Youth are Using to Change the World
- The Freechild Project Guide to Youth-Led Programming by Adam Fletcher
- The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide by Adam Fletcher
- “Youth Driven Spaces (YDS)” by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
- “A Comparison Of Youth-Driven And Adult-Driven Youth Programs: Balancing Inputs From Youth And Adults” by Reed Larson, Kathrin Walker, and Nickki Pearce for the Journal of Community Psychology
- “Strengthening Youth Driven Programming in Afterschool: DARE’s Youth Driven Programming Initiative” by the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
- “What Does It Mean to be Youth-Driven?” by Lissa Soep for Youth Radio
- “Youth Driven Spaces” by The Neutral Zone
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 youth-led programming in your community or organization, contact us.