Somewhere out there in the Ether there is an tussle among youth workers. In this battle of wills and ego, its youth development versus youth service versus youth rights. I was historically engaged in this discussion; however, over the last few years I’ve come to seen this non-dialogue as passé and even trite. It now seems almost silly to me to contrast the three; now I have a different vision.
- Youth development is “…the ongoing growth process in which all youth are engaged in attempting to (1) meet their basic personal and social needs to be safe, feel cared for, be valued, be useful, and be spiritually grounded, and (2) to build skills and competencies that allow them to function and contribute in their daily lives.”*
- “Youth service refers to non-military, intensive engagement of young people in organized activity that contributes to the local, national, or world community. Youth service is widely recognized and valued by society, with minimal or no compensation to the server. Youth service also provides opportunities for youth development, youth voice and reflection.”*
- “Youth rights usually refers to a philosophical stance that focuses on the civil rights of the young. This is counter to the more traditional perspective held by child rights’ advocates that emphasizes youth entitlements, a viewpoint that usually rests on a paternalistic foundation… [Y]outh rights organizers seek equal rights with adults by having young people play central roles in crafting their own strategies and campaigns to change their status.”*