Youth Engagement in Practice
As we work together with youth to re-engage and reconnect, youth development organizations partner with youth in authentic, meaningful ways.
Youth engagement is a “win-win proposition”—it benefits young people, adults, and organizations. Young people are the experts of their own lived experiences. Youth benefit from meaningful opportunities that foster learning and help them develop skills, habits, mindsets, and identities. Adults can enhance their own competencies, learn to better understand and value youth, and increase their commitment to their organizations. Organizations can develop services that are more relevant and responsive to young people’s strengths and challenges.
AIR interviewed six youth development organizations in Chicago to learn about their youth engagement strategies. This brief highlights five youth engagement strategies:
- Prepare youth and adults to be successful.
- Build community and positive relationships.
- Design meaningful opportunities.
- Value young people’s time and contributions.
- Embrace a culture of vulnerability.