Youth Engagement Project
In July 2017, the Institute on Disability convened 10 youth-led organizations that provide youth engagement, leadership, youth peer support, and youth development opportunities, in collaboration with schools and community-based organizations, to create a framework that is common across all of their projects and organizations. The members met monthly for over a year, identifying the following activities as part of their mission:
- Connect youth to the community
- Empower youth so their voice is valued
- Help each youth to improve their self-worth and value to the community
- Give back to the community
- Create a safe place to receive support
- Collaborate with others
- Effect change by providing a positive experience for those who may not have had one previously
- Create a “snowball effect”
- Encourage meaningful dialogue so that youth can learn those skills and use them at home or school
The groups adopted this definition of Youth Engagement:
“Youth engagement is a process when young people are involved in responsible, challenging actions to create positive social change. This means that youth drive the planning, decision making, and activities that affect themselves, others, and their communities.”
(Adapted from: Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Services, 2018)
The YEP offers this website to serve as a user-friendly resource for youth-led organizations, schools, community groups, parents, and other stakeholders who wish to promote youth engagement and health and wellness for all of our young people!
"Our group works to build capacity for youth empowerment efforts happening across the state through: educating community partners about the importance of youth voice in systems change, collaborative resource sharing, developing indicators of authentic youth engagement, and advocating for more support of and access to positive youth development opportunities statewide."