The Story of Adam F.C. Fletcher

Adam Fletcher in Seattle, Washington

Adam F.C. Fletcher is a writer, speaker and consultant focused on human engagement, education transformation, and social change.

Adam’s Short Story

Exciting, educating, and empowering are some of the words people have used to describe Adam F.C. Fletcher. A specialist in human engagement for more than two decades, he has consulted on more than two dozen international projects; written more than 50 publications; keynoted more than 300 conferences; and worked with more than 500 organizations focused on engaging everyone, everywhere, all of the time. As the founder of more than 100 initiatives in dozens of communities, he has supported thousands of low-income people, people of color, and other communities experiencing inequity as they become engaged in changing their lives and changing our world. Today, he is the director of the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement; Supporting Meaningful Student Involvement, and;

Adam F.C. Fletcher Long Bio

For more than 20 years, Adam F.C. Fletcher has worked across the United States, in Canada and around the world to transform the roles of people throughout society. His work motivates and strategizes with individuals, organizations and communities as they discover how to work together to foster positive, powerful realities for everyone, everywhere, all of the time.

He is the founding director of the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, focused on connecting young people and social change around the world, and SoundOut, the first international organization committed to promoting student voice and Meaningful Student Involvement throughout the education system. He is also the founder and editor of, celebrating people, places and events in Nebraska’s predominanantly African American community.

Adam grew up in a border-crossing, low-income family that was occasionally homeless. Generational PTSD and growing up in a depressed community presented Adam with challenges at every corner, but with the support of adult allies throughout his youth he became the first child in his family to graduate high school, and later the only one to complete college. Spending more than a decade growing up in a low-income African American community, Adam developed a commitment to serving communities of color and low-income communities that has stuck with him since.

First working with young people when he was 14, Adam worked in the Midwest for three summers as a teacher in a program inspired by Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. He later worked as an experiential education facilitator, ropes challenge course director, youth center coordinator, and as an independent living skills instructor. Adam served three terms with AmeriCorps, including serving Kurdish and Iraqi refugee families in Nebraska and in rural northern New Mexico. He was also a fellow with the Points of Light Foundation in Washington, DC, and a fellow with Communities for Learning in New York City.

Adam served in state government, worked for national nonprofit organizations, and was a youth worker for more than a decade. The former executive director of two international nonprofits, Adam was most recently the leader of Generation YES. After 25 years of operations, he helped sunset the organization while supporting a dozen employees and programming in 300 K-12 schools transition their efforts in student voice, digital equity, and school improvement. Adam was a government employee the State of Washington and the United States federal government. He was the first student engagement specialist for Washington State’s education agency and a co-founder of the state’s Youth Service and Leadership Team. He later worked with the Washington State Department of Health as the Coordinated School Health Program manager, and directed a statewide youth-led campaign against childhood obesity for two years. He also worked for the Corporation for National Service promoting service learning and community leadership.

Adam’s writing has appeared in both magazines and academic journals around the world, including Education Leadership and Connect for Student Participation. A contributor to blogs worldwide, Adam is also the author more than fifty publications, including Steps to Youth Leadership in Modern Times (2022); Student Voice Revolution: The Meaningful Student Involvement Handbook (2017); Facing Adultism (2015); The Practice of Youth Engagement (2014); The Guide to Student Voice (2013); The Freechild Project Guide to Youth-Driven Programming (2013); and SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum (2008), all published by CommonAction Publishing. Adam also authored chapters in Empowering Students for the Future: Encouraging Self-Direction and Lifelong Learning (2019, Rowman and Littlefield) and School Connectedness and Meaningful Student Participation (2009, U.S. Department of Education).

He is also the author of several local history books, including the #OmahaBlackHistory: African American People, Places and Events in Omaha, Nebraska (2021); the North Omaha History series (2016); and The Guide to Fort Omaha (2017)His most recent writing includes chapters in Empowering Our Students for the Future (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) and A Handbook for Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theory into Practice (Routledge, in press).

Adam’s volunteer service includes service on the Board of Directors for Generation YES, Capitol Clubhouse, and Partners in Prevention Education, all in Olympia, Washington. He was on the steering committee for Future Friendly Schools, was a founding advisor for the Institute for Democratic Education in America, and was a contributing editor to the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Adam has also been on advisory boards for a number of organizations, and was named a “director emeritus” for the National Youth Rights Association in 2012.

Former US Surgeon General David Satcher named Adam a “Healthy Schools Hero” in 2010, and Adam has been granted other local, national, and international recognition, too.

Adam’s graduate work was at the University of Washington College of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and received his undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College focused on Youth Studies and Critical Pedagogy.

Today, he lives in rural Oregon. Learn more about him at and reach him by calling (360) 489-9680.

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