Here’s 10 things you can do to promote youth engagement right now. These don’t require you to graduate high school, get a college degree, or change the whole entire world right now. Instead they are things you can do right now!
- Learn about Youth Engagement. Did you know that Youth Engagement – or Youth Engagement – is more than classes voting or school-wide meetings? Learn about Youth Engagement on The Freechild Project website, through Wikipedia, or through a number of books.
- Brainstorm what your organization and community can do to change. The power of your imagination is an incredible tool to use! Brainstorm different ways your organization or school could be more engaging, and make a list or mind map.
- Talk to other youth about Youth Engagement. Ask your friends if they know about Youth Engagement. Share your ideas about which changes your community can make, and ask if they have any ideas themselves. Challenge them to ask you hard questions, and see if you can answer them, or tell them you’ll get back to them after your learn more.
- Find an adult ally. Create a real youth/adult partnership with an adult to help your efforts. Engaging an adult ally can make planning more effective and connections with other adults easier.
- Create a Youth Engagement plan for your organization or community. Maybe your school or the neighborhood nonprofit needs more Youth Engagement. Work with your friends to make a plan for who, what, when, where and how Youth Engagement can be used.
- Host a Youth Engagement workshop. Invite other youth and adults in your community to learn about Youth Engagement by facilitating a hands-on workshop. Research Youth Engagement learning activities and use them to help participants learn by experiencing democracy in education. Bring The Freechild Project to your community to train youth and adults.
- Present your plan to community decision-makers. Who makes decisions about how adults should treat youth in your community or in schools? Teachers, youth workers, government workers, politicians, and school board members can all effect Youth Engagement. Share your plan to them one-on-one or make a presentation to local organizations, committees, and others.
- Present your plan to community decision-makers. Who chooses which nonprofit organizations get government funding or philanthropic donations? Present your plan to them, as well as neighborhood association presidents, local businesspeople and youth organization leaders.
- Organize! If your efforts to work with the community aren’t working, organize. Find other people who care about Youth Engagement by sharing the idea every chance you get, and ask them to join you in promoting the concept in your community. Then determine a goal and take action to put Youth Engagement into action for everyone!
- Find allies online. Having a hard time finding other youth and adults who care? Look on The Freechild Project’s Facebook page or start your own group. People you can partner with are everywhere, and sometimes it’s just a matter of asking!
Good luck – and remember to share your story with me!
CommonAction staff are available to train on Youth Engagement and much more. Learn what we can do for you by and call Adam at (360)489-9680.