Youth engagement is a critical component in creating a supportive environment for social and emotional wellness and academic growth for students. This page serves as a resource for schools seeking to develop and maintain a successful youth engagement effort. Youth engagement is a powerful approach to improving policies, programs and practices related to youth.
What does youth engagement mean?
Meaningful youth engagement occurs when young people are involved in responsible, challenging actions to create positive social change. This means involving youth in planning and in making decisions that affect themselves and others.
Youth engagement happens in youth-adult partnerships that are structured so that both groups contribute, teach, and learn from each other.
- National Resource Center for Youth Development – Youth Engagement Toolkit
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Best Practices User Guide: Youth Engagement
Engaging Youth as Partners in Creating Healthy, Safe, and Welcoming Schools
A Sincere Compliment: The Story of the West High Bros Club
You may have seen some national press on Jeremiah Anthony, a high school student who has single handedly sparked a school culture change movement in his high school by starting the West High Bros. WHB started with just Jeremiah who decided he would randomly tweet sincere compliments to students he went to school with, his friends at first and then all kinds of students for all kinds of random things. Soon other students wanted to do that with him and the “bros club” was formed. It has grown so markedly that now students look for things in school to tweet positively about. It’s a great example of how powerful students can be as change agents and drivers of school culture change. Watch the video and share with others, particularly students who might be interested in starting this at your school.
The following sites provide educators, parents and community members with a diverse collection of information and resources that will guide them in effectively partnering with youth.