Differences Between YDP and Traditional Youth Programs

As long as community work specifically focused on youth has existed, adults have been designing, facilitating, and evaluating it. However, over the last twenty-some years, many nonprofits, schools, and government agencies have discovered the reward of fostering youth voice throughout throughout their operations affecting youth. Years of research and best practice have led to theContinue reading “Differences Between YDP and Traditional Youth Programs”

Raising Kids to Change the World

The last nine years of my life have been an active experiment for me. My daughter was born in August 2003, and every day since then she has changed my life. That’s the experience for me. The experiment I’ve been living is one based on emperical and scientific data that I’d collected throughout my young career andContinue reading “Raising Kids to Change the World”

Are You Tokenizing Youth?

Tokenism happens whenever adults put youth in formal and informal positions without any substance, purpose, or power in order to say they have youth on board. Appointing youth this was is a symbolic gesture towards Youth Voice that is meant to demonstrate youth engagement and appease youth and adult advocates. Its supposed to stop peopleContinue reading “Are You Tokenizing Youth?”

More Than Voice: The Cycle of Engagement

The other day I presented a few workshops at the 2012 Bridge Conference in Seattle. One focused focused on my Cycle of Engagement, and was called “More Than Voice: The Cycle of Engagement“. I walked participants through the various ways we can move past understanding Youth Voice as a singular, passive activity, instead engaging youngContinue reading “More Than Voice: The Cycle of Engagement”

Youth On A Pedestal

There’s a special place where young people are placed in stark contrast to their roles in our daily lives. Typically, young people are segregated from adults, compelled to follow rules and laws they didn’t make, and shown what to do with themselves through advertising, education, family life, and community norms. Nowhere along the way areContinue reading “Youth On A Pedestal”

Conditions for Youth-Driven Programs

Following is a simple assessment organizations can use to determine whether they really want to create youth-driven programming. I repurposed it from a tool the spectacular Michael Fielding of the University of Sussex originally created for schools, with his permission. This tool can provide a straight-forward tool for practical conversations in nonprofits, community groups, andContinue reading “Conditions for Youth-Driven Programs”

Types of Youth Experiences

Check out The Freechild Project page on Resources for Adults at http://freechild.org/adults.htm Adults often think all the different ways we listen to youth voice equal to youth engagement. I believe youth voice is not the same as youth engagement. Young people can be engaged through youth voice experiences, and many others. These types of youth experiencesContinue reading “Types of Youth Experiences”

When Will Adults Grow Up?

Today, The New York Times employed the opinions of Laurence Steinberg to answer the question, “When do kids become adults?” My question is about this article is, “When will adults grow up?” The “reality” of age-based segregation is eroding every day as since continuously shows that both childhood and adulthood are simply made-up constructs that have no practical place inContinue reading “When Will Adults Grow Up?”

Youth Kicking Butt in 2012 (for Brad)

Across the United States there are a number of innovative youth leadership programs that excite me. I get to interact with them sometimes, and other times I merely study them, read about them, or just hear about them from my friends and colleagues in the field. For just over a decade, I’ve been working toContinue reading “Youth Kicking Butt in 2012 (for Brad)”