Our society is filled with systems. A lot of them affect youth. A system is any group of coherent connections resulting in a predictable result.
Whether we’re talking about obvious systems like education, health care and juvenile justice, or less tangible systems like culture and families, it is important to understand how each of these systems affects youth engagement.
Systems are made of many factors, including people, policies, procedures and possibilities. There are eight factors in the graphic below.
While I’ve worked with schools, nonprofits, government agencies and other orgs over the last 17 years, I’ve explored how and these systems operate. I’ve seen “under the hood” in dozens of communities, watched the bad and the good arise in times of crisis and seasons of apparent ease… and every time I’m reminded of the systems at work.
Wherever they’re sustainably connected, youth engagement happens in systems.
- Education—Education systems are formal and informal, apparent and subversive. Youth engagement starts in the space where they’re learning.
- Sports—The youth athletics system includes rules, teams, scores, morals, codes and more
- Culture—The cultural system all youth belong to includes obvious and not-obvious rules, behavior, attitudes and beyond
- Economics—The youth employment system exchanges goods and services for money and more
Other systems of youth engagement include school, faith, justice, health, family, civic action, social services, mental health, recreation, or other systems, ALL youth EVERY where can experience the positive, powerful potential of youth engagement. Let’s explore that together!
I’m offering a new series of training and speeches on Systems of Youth Engagement. If you’re interested in learning how I can help you, your organization or your community, call me today at (360)489-9680 or send me an email. Want to learn on your own? See the links below.
You Might Like…
- Systems Change and Youth Voice
- A Short Guide to Holistic Youth Development by Adam Fletcher – Centers on systems affecting youth.
- A Unique Introduction to Youth Engagement by Adam Fletcher – Focuses on the lives of youth and the systems they engage in.
- Recognizing Systems of Adultism