GO TEAM YOUTH! Towards a Future Beyond Boosterism

This morning I read a story about a 14-year-old named Jacob Barnett who might be smarter than Einstein. As I watched it, I had the thought of sharing his story with others. However, I’m generally reluctant to do that. As I’ve written in the past about Michelle Obama and Taylor Wilson, I think adults who areContinue reading “GO TEAM YOUTH! Towards a Future Beyond Boosterism”

Radical Transparency with Children and Youth

How To Be Radically Transparent With Children and Youth Start when they’re young. While young people are still young, that’s the time to make be radically transparent with them. Having a transparent conversation with a 17 or 18 year old can be difficult, if only because they’re conditioned to accept adults obfuscating. By starting early,Continue reading “Radical Transparency with Children and Youth”

Questions About Youth Empowerment

Today I read a great article by a thought leader in New Hampshire’s democratic education community, Peter Berg. Peter does some cool work including coaching for young people themselves, and I really like his blog. Cool guy. His article, “Empowering Youth to Take Charge of Their Health“, got my brain running this afternoon, as hisContinue reading “Questions About Youth Empowerment”

Do Not Let Go Of Young Adults

Youth engagement happens way into young adulthood. During one of my recent training events, participants were fixated on the end of youth. “When is youth over?” “How do youth move on?” “Can we just declare a youth finished?” “Youth” is never finished. We are all always youth, and we can never truly leave our youthContinue reading “Do Not Let Go Of Young Adults”

How to Start Engaging Children and Youth

As a seasoned youth worker, I have met my share of “good kids”. You know, the ones who were excited to do activities and eager to please adults? Generally, they are excited at the right times, attentive when they’re supposed to be, and friendly almost all the time. I was not one of those kidsContinue reading “How to Start Engaging Children and Youth”

33 Steps to Youth Voice

Creativity, government, schools, empowerment, community development… As the banner of youth voice is unfurled around the world, we see more young people standing up in unprecedented numbers than ever before. They’re demanding what is rightfully theirs: High-quality living, hopeful lives, and democratic realities. We’re just see this movement emerge like never before, and must keepContinue reading “33 Steps to Youth Voice”

111 Ways To Engage Youth

All young people can be engaged fully and wholly, everyday in every way. I have spent a career promoting the concept of an engaged world for all people, especially children and youth. Studying others practices, conducting research, and doing my work, I have come to define youth engagement as the sustained connections young people haveContinue reading “111 Ways To Engage Youth”

The Freechild Project Youth Action Guide

The Freechild Project Youth Action Guide is CommonAction’s latest publication. A 50-page publication created for our training promoting youth changing the world, this guide is FREE online right now! It’s packed with quick, easy reading that can help young people or adults think about how to find what needs to change, create programs to makeContinue reading “The Freechild Project Youth Action Guide”

Olympia—Partners Needed for a Youth Event

Talking with a number of young people in Olympia in informal settings, I recently discovered there is a desire for a youth leadership training for them. However, without money to attend, these “nontraditionally engaged” youth don’t feel like they can do it. So I’m going to pull together a one-day youth action training here inContinue reading “Olympia—Partners Needed for a Youth Event”

The House Youth Voice Built

A lot of organizations don’t know where to begin with Youth Voice. They complain that young people don’t attend their activities, or that youth who do show up don’t have a voice. Building Youth Voice requires a deliberate strategy for action and transformation. Eight Building Blocks For Youth Voice The following can be a checklist.Continue reading “The House Youth Voice Built”