What It Means:
Programs authentically partner with youth to build their leadership skills. Young people are involved in meaningful opportunities to plan, implement, and evaluate program activities.
Why It Matters:
Young people are more likely to stay engaged in the program when their ideas and contributions are included. This places their interests at the center.
What Effective Practices Look Like:
Staff value and encourage youth voice and expression. Youth have the opportunity to make significant choices about activities in the program.
Youth serve as leaders and mentors to each other.
Staff support youth’s leadership development through appropriate skill building opportunities (e.g. goals setting, planning).
Youth input and contributions are encouraged in activity planning, implementation and evaluation. As young people gain experience, their input and contributions become increasingly sophisticated.
Staff provide opportunities for reflection and for youth to showcase their work.