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Karen Pittman's Youth Today Columns

Karen Pittman, executive director of the Forum, used to regularly write a column for Youth Today, the newspaper on youth work. This archive includes articles from her entire stint writing for Youth Today and covers a variety of topics related to children and youth.

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Youth Today: Youth Development Work

By Karen Pittman, December 2006

Sometimes, I’m just slow. I carried around the results of two work force surveys in my head for weeks before I realized the significance of putting the two of them together.

Youth Today: Youth Development’s Imagination Failure

By Karen Pittman, May 2000

Imagination is a powerful thing. One of the biggest failings of youth development advocates (myself included) is that we fail to capture the imagination of policy makers, funders, the public and even parents. These decision makers have difficulty imagining what youth development is. And when they do imagine what they want in place for youth — mentoring, service, after-school programs, sports leagues, reproductive health counseling, job training, violence prevention — youth advocates do not consistently capture their attention or their resources.

Youth Today: Youth Engagement

By Karen Pittman, November 1999

Youth participation for youth development. Youth participation for community change. Different goals with different strategies, maybe even different proponents and results. This is a critical distinction that I, for one, have been slow to grasp. A data-inspired exercise helped me understand the importance of this distinction.