Seattle Youth Engagement Zone

This month saw the opening of an exciting new partnership between CommonAction Consulting and Seattle Public Schools focused on their brand-new Youth Engagement Zone project. Funded by the Corporation for Community and National Service, we will be provided technical expertise on youth engagement to a variety of partners in the project. After providing preliminary support to LoisContinue reading “Seattle Youth Engagement Zone”

Each Others’ Dreams

In my decade-long exploration of the motivations of service, I have found several different keys to understanding why people help people. One of the pinnacle reasons is solidarity. For several years I have struggled to explain the premise of solidarity, because being too basic under-emphasizes the extreme nature of solidarity. It’s deep, man! What I’veContinue reading “Each Others’ Dreams”

Supportive Environments for Youth

Creating a safe and supportive environment is essential for engaging students in a community service program, organization, or throughout a community. The environment includes everything around youth, including the culture, structures, and climate of the organizations they volunteer in and learn from. The vast majority of programs, organizations or communities that seek to engage youth as volunteers are adult-driven, which makes it vital forContinue reading “Supportive Environments for Youth”

Youth Volunteerism Links

Want to learn more about what children and youth are doing to make a different in the world around them? Check out the following websites!  Every program here is part of a broad international movement promoting youth volunteering, action, and empowerment.   Child Friendly Cities (CFC) – A UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre initiative that focuses on youth involvement throughoutContinue reading “Youth Volunteerism Links”

New Roles for Youth Volunteers

It’s not just about showing up for the project! With the development of new technology, new learning experiences, and different avenues for participation throughout our communities, young people have assumed, been assigned, and have co-created new roles for youth volunteers. Youth volunteers today have so many others ways they can contribute to our communities. CheckContinue reading “New Roles for Youth Volunteers”

Connecting Learning and Service

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. You can use your school’s current community service requirement to connect service with learning! If your school doesn’t have a requirement, you can connect service and learning in yourContinue reading “Connecting Learning and Service”

Political Power is NOT Youth Power

I am growing increasingly sensitized to the myriad ways youth involvement can potentially fail young people. One of those ways is the assumption that it is only through youth involvement – formalized, systemic participation of young people throughout institutions and organizations – can young people make a difference in the decisions that affect them. However,Continue reading “Political Power is NOT Youth Power”

Youth Development, Youth Service and Youth Rights

Somewhere out there in the Ether there is an tussle among youth workers. In this battle of wills and ego, its youth development versus youth service versus youth rights. I was historically engaged in this discussion; however, over the last few years I’ve come to seen this non-dialogue as passé and even trite. It now seems almostContinue reading “Youth Development, Youth Service and Youth Rights”

Enabling Optimism Towards Youth

Michelle Obama is my hero of the week. For the last twenty years, including much of my teens and all my adult life, the general attitude of society towards young people has been one of fear and loathing: I grew up in the age of zero tolerance, anti-cruising laws, youth-being-tried-as-adults, and the generally crass demonizationContinue reading “Enabling Optimism Towards Youth”

New Youth Voice Toolkit!

Announcing a new resource for Youth Voice activists and practitioners around the world: The Freechild Project Youth Voice Toolkit! The Toolkit includes: Youth Voice Glossary Assumptions about Youth Voice Principles of Youth Voice Keys to Youth Voice Cycle of Youth Voice Guidelines for Youth Voice Honoring Youth Voice Youth-Adult Relationships Sprectrum Cycle of Youth VoiceContinue reading “New Youth Voice Toolkit!”