5 Steps to Integrate Youth

Nike, Levi’s, and a lot of other brands that sell things to youth have realized that the secret to marketing to youth is personalization: Let them help design it, and young people will spend a lot for it. At the same time, many websites allow young users to develop sophisticated personal profiles, letting them connectContinue reading “5 Steps to Integrate Youth”

Elements of Successful Community Engagement

The nature of community programs continues to evolve. More than ever, nonprofits, government agencies, and other programs are being challenged to transform their goals, activities, assessments, and resources in order to motivate, educate, and engage people beyond simple participation. In a time when many communities are stuck in a malaise, community programs require a realignment to growContinue reading “Elements of Successful Community Engagement”

Neoliberalism in Youth Programs

Democracy is a practical, hands-on approach to operating our society. Everyday, every young person can contribute to the health and well-being of themselves, their families, their neighborhoods, the nation, and the world. That’s the power of democracy today: More than ever before, it’s changing the world. But there are forces trying to undo democracy. RightContinue reading “Neoliberalism in Youth Programs”

Youth-Driven Programming Dos and Don’ts

Interested in owning your own copy of these dos and don’ts? Find them in our new… The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide This is a short checklist for Youth-Driven Programming. I wrote it for nonprofits, schools, and other organizations that want to ensure their activities are meaningful for young people. You can own your ownContinue reading “Youth-Driven Programming Dos and Don’ts”

Stop Beating Kids: Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools

Spanking Slapping Smacking Pulling ears Pinching Shaking Hitting with rulers, belts, wooden spoons, extension cords, slippers, hairbrushes, pins, sticks, whips, rubber hoses, flyswatters, wire hangers, stones, bats, canes, or paddles Forcing a child to stand for a long time Forcing a child to stay in an uncomfortable position Forcing a child to stand motionless ForcingContinue reading “Stop Beating Kids: Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools”

Youth Involvement Stagnates

The national youth involvement movement has stagnated. For more than 20 years it has promoted almost the exact same approaches to addressing challenges are radically different today than ever before. Something has got to get different, and get that way rapidly. I first became aware of the national effort to systematically involve youth throughout systemsContinue reading “Youth Involvement Stagnates”

Making Public Policy

The levers of public policy aren’t often considered when it comes to youth involvement and youth voice. Sure, there is a group of America’s Youth Councils that is rallying the nation’s youth councils to unite and take action and everything – and I’m with them 100%. But honestly, what this movement needs are strategic agendasContinue reading “Making Public Policy”

Youth Voice & the Federal Government

My first work with the federal government was in 1997 when I joined AmeriCorps in Lincoln, Nebraska. After that I worked in two other AmeriCorps programs and subcontracted with a national training organization for the Corporation for National Service. When I worked at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction I was inContinue reading “Youth Voice & the Federal Government”