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Engaged Youth. Stacey Daraio, Deputy Director Community Network for Youth Development stacey@cnyd.org. Engaged Youth: Definition. Participation/Connection Passion/Commitment Voice/Input Collective Action/Shared Leadership. Audience Survey. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Engaged Youth

    Stacey Daraio, Deputy DirectorCommunity Network for Youth Developmentstacey@cnyd.org

  • Engaged Youth: DefinitionParticipation/ConnectionPassion/CommitmentVoice/InputCollective Action/Shared Leadership

  • Audience SurveyHow important do you think having engaged youth in our programs, schools and communities is?A. Extremely importantB. ImportantC. Somewhat importantD. Not at all important

  • Reflective QuestionIf we agree about the importance of youth engagementthen why dont we see it happening in every program, school or community we visit?

  • Catalyzing Change

  • Catalyzing Change

  • Catalyzing Change

  • Measuring and Moving Outcomes That MatterSTEP 1: Measure supports & opportunities

    National Learning Priorities

  • Measuring and Moving Outcomes That MatterSTEP 1: Measure supports & opportunities

    STEP 2: Set targets

    National Learning Priorities

  • Measuring and Moving Outcomes That MatterSTEP 1: Measure supports & opportunities

    STEP 2: Set targets

    National Learning Priorities

  • Measuring and Moving Outcomes That MatterSTEP 1: Measure supports & opportunities

    STEP 2: Set targetsSTEP 3:Assess & strengthen organizational characteristics

    National Learning Priorities

  • Measuring and Moving Outcomes That MatterSTEP 1: Measure supports & opportunities

    STEP 2: Set targets

    STEP 3:Assess & strengthen organizational characteristics

    STEP 4:Reassess supports & opportunities

    National Learning Priorities

  • Catalyzing Change

  • Catalyzing Change

  • Quality Practice

  • SummaryEngaged youth lead to an engaged citizenryThere is evidence that it CAN be doneChange takes place at all levels: With Youth, With Youth Workers, and With Organizational Leaders and Policies

    Im going to talk about what weve seen it takes to get youth truly engaged.Lets recall for a moment the definition that Joyce presented us.*Given this definitionhow important do you think having engaged youth in our programs, schools and communities is?*Fantastic: We are x% agreed that it is important or extremely important to have young people engaged in our programs schools and communities. I wish we were all in the same room, because I am going to ask a second question that cant be easily answered in a poll.

    If we are all agreed about the importance of youth engagementthen why dont we see it when we walk into every program, school or community we visit? *I am going to talk to you about our experience with catalyzing organizations, afterschool programs and communities around increasing youth engagement. In order to do that, Im going to borrow a model of change from my colleague Dr. Jim Connell. In Jims model, in order to move systems to change, we must convey a sense of:Urgencyor why its important to make a change NOWPossibilityor that the change has been made in other places successfully--proving that it can be done in this situationEquityor the notion that change is often difficult and painful and EVERYONE will experience the difficulty and pain of the change from the executive director to the office manager, to the youth worker and youth themselves; and finally,Inevitabilityor the fact that the change will occur on a date certain

    So what kind of case can we make for why young people need to be engaged NOW? We work with so many youth workers that tell us over and over again, that nothing they do will engage their youth. That they ask them questions like: What color should we paint the walls? And are met with shrugged shoulders and I donknows.

    We stop them and ask them to engage in an experiment with usknowing how frustrating it is to work so hard to motivate youthwe ask them if they would be willing to set their frustrations aside and get curious about what could possibly be going on with youth who sayI dont know. What could be going on with a young person who cannot summon with in themselves a voice, an opinion about what they want? We ask them where else in that young persons life do they have a voice or choice about what they wantin school? In their families? In their communities? And if they cannot access that voice around something that seems as simple, as inconsequential as what color to paint the wallshow can expect them to fully engage as leaders. What and who would they lead? If they cannot participate in their own liveshow can we expect them to participate in programs, communities and in society?

    Participation at its core is a democratic value. Engaging youth is about teaching them to be citizens of our democracyWhere else are they learning the skills to be active participants in our democracy? The urgency we face is about democratizing our youth. The very future of our country depends on it. This is a very radical idea, because if we want to allow shared leadership, equal participation, voice and input, we come smack up against issues of power. Ill talk more about power later.

    There are three things that our government asks of us as citizens of this country:That we voteThat we pay our taxesThat we sit on juries and administer justice.

    Those are awesome responsibilitieshow do we go about preparing youth to be enough engaged in their own lives that they can engage in our community and society? So now that were clear that the very future of our country rests on getting youth engagedis there anywhere its happened before that we can hold up as a model of change? Turns our there is!*In San Francisco, we piloted a process that has been replicated across the country.

    What you see here is a chart from one of the agencies that actually shows the percent of participants who were at what we call optimal levels.What that means is that these participants were answering questions in ways that told us that they were consistently experiencing the highest level of each support and opportunity. This organization is very well known for their youth participationor engagement. You can see that out of 100 participants surveyed less than 10% said they were consistently getting the opportunity for input and decision making and leadership. That meansthat 8 out of 100 youth said that they were getting opportunity to for involvement. Can you imagine this agencys surprise!

    Weve found this to be an area that agencies are consistently low in because its one of the hardest things to do right and it involves relinquishing power which at the top of the organization turns out to be an even harder thing to do.

    So that was Step 1. The first thing we did was we measured those supports and opportunities, we brought these data to the agencies and their funders, we sat together in a workshop and looked at them, and then we went to Step 2,

    *Step 2 was basically to say, .Lets set targets for where we want to be in the next year. If were going to be a learning community and work together to figure out how to improve the supports and opportunities by strengthening our practice, weve got to know where we want to be in the next year in order to put a plan together and really be intentional about changing our practices here.

    So you can see the targets that they set vary. That theyre not all even. They werent trying to make the same amount of progress in every area. There were certain priorities that were set, with the expectation that we have a year, there are only certain things that we can and will get done in a year. What are the things that we expect to change most? And you can see the focus was really on relationships, on safety, and on youth involvement. *Step 2 was basically to say, .Lets set targets for where we want to be in the next year. If were going to be a learning community and work together to figure out how to improve the supports and opportunities by strengthening our practice, weve got to know where we want to be in the next year in order to put a plan together and really be intentional about changing our practices here.

    So you can see the targets that they set vary. That theyre not all even. They werent trying to make the same amount of progress in every area. There were certain priorities that were set, with the expectation that we have a year, there are only certain things that we can and will get done in a year. What are the things that we expect to change most? And you can see the focus was really on relationships, on safety, and on youth involvement. *In Step 3 we asked organizations to assess their organizational characteristics or features, create improvement plans based on the information from their youth and their assessment.*And, we went back in Step 4, and re-measured to see whether or not doing all those things actually made any impact on the supports and opportunities, and you can see, from the blue bars which is their measure at time 2, that they in fact met or exceeded every one of their targets. That, from that intentional work on the practices that they had in place, they actually made all the gains that they wanted to make. And this is why we say -These are actually outcomes that are moveable. So we can measure them, we can measure them in systematic ways, and we can move them, when we can be intentional in a supportive way about making the changes that need to be made to strengthen program quality.

    Everybody feels the pain; everybody feels the gain. So what did this organization do to increase young peoples experience of engagement? And who was involved in the change?

    They implemented several strategiesIll just review a few:Youth developed the ground rules/agreements for the agency. The youth reported that they were dealt with inconsistently by the staff and recommended that all staff attended a communication and conflict resoluti