Five Principles for Engaging Youth as Partners to Build Healthier Communities
“One way to tackle today’s upstream health challenges and create tomorrow’s civically-engaged residents is to make youth part of the solution,” wrote Bob Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Director of New Jersey Health Initiatives and Dan Hart, PhD, Professor and Director of the Institute for Effective Education at Rutgers University, for Grantmakers in Health’s Views from the Field.
Drawing from academic theory and from the development and implementation of the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative, they offer five principles for effectively engaging youth:
- No skimming off the top.
- Make youth equal partners.
- Connect youth to community leaders.
- Connect youth to community assets.
- Engage youth for the right amount of time.
Watch “Next Generation Community Leaders: From the Youth Perspective,” which features alumni reflections from the first cohort of youth. In these candid interviews, they share how they’ve discovered their leadership potential while working to improve health in their communities, the impact of authentic adult-youth partnership and the relationships they’ve built with their coaches and teammates.