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Past Program

Oct 22 - Oct 29, 2003

Engaging Youth in Community Development

Session 413

Abstract

While undoubtedly true that today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders, it is increasingly clear that many youth already have the skills, drive, and commitment to be among today’s change-makers. Contrary to the negative image of “problem youth” that is often all too prominent, many young people are actively engaged in problem-solving and decision-making, taking on leadership roles in the development of their communities. They are also engaged in creating a new understanding of the needs of youth and the positive role they can, and increasingly do, have in society.

This session will look at various ways youth are actively engaged in promoting social change and at the organizations and mechanisms available to support them in these endeavors. Examples will be shared and creative strategies explored for supporting young people as agents of change and forces for positive social development in their communities. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own experiences, to learn about the work of local, national, and international organizations that support youth development, and to consider and create new approaches for increased participation of young women and men in community development initiatives.