Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Personal Definition of Youth Development

Tomorrow, I have my first meeting with a new client. I am so excited that I am going to be doing some youth development training with the staff at LYRIC, an organization dedicated to LGBTQQ youth. This 20 year old organization has served thousands of young people from all over the Bay Area...all over the country really. It has proven itself to be a safe and dynamic place for youth to be and become exactly who they want to be. And now, the staff is in a process of organizational improvement to see how they can do their work better.

I think it is so cool when people/organizations are good at something and they remain committed to their own learning.

And when a youth organization models this kind of commitment to learning and growth, it is the coolest. Children and youth need to know that learning is not something that they can be done with when they graduate high school. On-going Learning means freedom, happiness, and fulfillment.

Here is what I am sharing with staff tomorrow as my personal definition of youth development. I am pretty proud of it...

Youth Development is process of radical change and growth that is rooted in many cultural traditions at the same time that it is politically and socially progressive. Youth Development is a simple concept to understand at the same time that it is a series of practices that take a great deal of presence, intention and planning to implement. Youth Development is the most effective approach in working with groups of young people at the same time that it is a peaceful, inclusive, and equitable worldview that supports all positive human development and has the potential to catalyze social change.

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