Young people are powerful contributors to society, but too often adults don’t seek or hear their voices. Fostering youth leadership requires a number of skills and tactics, from assessing adult attitudes toward youths and encouraging youth ownership of service-learning projects to team-building games and reflection exercises.
July 24, 2005: The last day of the National Youth Leadership Training
arrived, and with it signing camp T-shirts, exchanging of email
addresses, and the tears of solemn farewells. In just one week, the
diverse NYLT community had transformed into one big family. more »
By Nate White
Youth Committee Chair, Operation Open Door
Do you ever get the feeling you're part of something bigger?
Something better? Something incredible? I get that feeling every time I
hear the words "Operation Open Door," "service-learning," or "National
Youth Service Day." more »
On July 18, the 2004 National Youth Leadership Training drew to a close. High school students from across the country — wearing baby blue NYLT
t-shirts, and carrying suitcases and sleeping bags — said tearful
goodbyes to their new friends and headed home to new possibilities. more »
By Niki Vaith, NYLC Youth Advisory Council
Volunteer where your heart is. Service is about learning, growing, and working together to meet genuine needs. Service is done to meet the needs of others, not to make you feel better. Never assume you know whats best for someone else. more »
Three examples of the challenges teachers face effectively engaging
strong youth voice while meeting resistance from adults in positions of
power when youth voice is strong enough to tackle uncomfortable issues.
Addresses the issue of "meek" service and active citizen engagement for
social change. (The Generator, Spring 2002)
Highlights two youth-led peer-education programs, one in the United States and one in Uganda, focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and improved sexual and reproductive health and development. (The Generator, Summer 2004)
The basics of youth voice, including assessing adult readiness for facilitation of youth voice and leadership, training ideas, finding youth leaders, and respecting youths and their process of leadership. Includes one page of youth-leadership and youth/adult-partnership resources.
Special-needs students chose nondisabled peer buddies to assist them in mastering the skills necessary to shop for groceries and prepare a nutritious meal. The special-education students began by practicing their ability to read labels and recipes, along with the math skills to make change for food purchases. As a group, they chose an ethnic theme, searched for appropriate recipes, and planned and prepared the meal for a multicultural celebration.more »
Concerned about the destruction of wetlands in their state, middle-school students hosted an environmental-education program for young children. The event is the first in a series of activities designed to strengthen and rebuild local natural resources.more »