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Youth Engagement – Advice from Teen Leaders
“PUSH OUR LIMITS”
When teens take on leadership in healthy relationship programs, everyone benefits. The program content is enriched, other students take the material more seriously, and teen leaders learn valuable transferable skills and gain confidence.
However, recruiting and retaining these young leaders can be a challenge.
At the recent National Skills Institute, which drew forty-eight youth leaders from across Canada, an intensive round table discussion was held to allow young people to share their struggles and triumphs. This safe space welcomed them as leaders and change-makers.
Here are their recommendations on how adults and youth can better collaborate, in order to make the programs stronger.
10 Tips for Bridging the Gap (according to youth from across Canada)
- Have an equal, established relationship between youth and adults.
- Give youth more responsibility. Push our limits.
- Take the time to get to know each other - a combination of youth who strive to be mature and adults who know how to have fun.
- Remember that our opinions are not wrong, they are simply different.
- Give feedback and take feedback. Create open discussions. It is always helpful!
- Give credit to one another - this keeps us inspired and encouraged to share our ideas and continue our work.
- Trust that youth can build upon the foundation that has already been laid.
- Be organized and accountable.
- Include youth in your programs as much as possible so that we can work together towards a common goal and set up spaces where youth and adults can engage in open, honest discussions, debates and the sharing of ideas.
- Believe in what you say and stand up for what you believe.
Care ~ Appreciate ~ Encourage ~ Create Trust ~ Become a partnership