So I’m finishing up edits on a few more sections of the Freechild Project Youth Voice Toolbox, and this new page on the Components of Successful Youth Voice programs has me very excited. In my research of Youth Voice programs across Washington, throughout the United States and around the world, I have found some repeating patterns that continuously emerge. These patterns include a number of components that will make a community-wide Youth Voice strategy successful. Here’s an introduction to the six components.
- Equitable youth/adult partnerships – Meaningful, substantive relationships built on justice and fairness.
- Social networking – A group of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.
- Meaningful learning – Understanding learning through by applying learning to life instead of through force, aggression, or threats.
- Safe and supportive environments – Places, spaces and people surrounding young people that embody the ideals of equity, quality and meaning for all young people and adults.
- Lifelong service – Seeing oneself as part of the larger world is essential for building Youth Voice.
- Community-wide engagement – Connecting at home, in places of worship, at school, in community organizations, in government agencies and throughout society.
These are the most important components I have identified. I’d love to know what you think.