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Those who promote and carry out positive youth development are sometimes asked to explain what it is. Forum CEO Karen Pittman took on that task in a speech in Miami this month at the bi-annual Leadership Institute for Reclaiming Futures, a national initiative that helps young people who are in trouble with drugs, alcohol, and crime.
The Forum continues to help more communities implement Ready by 21 tools. Last month, four new communities kicked off the Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 Challenge – a six-month technical assistance project aimed at improving youth transitions to adulthood.
Those who think young people should have a greater voice in the development of federal youth policies have a chance to shape how that would happen: The Forum and its fellow advocates are gaining momentum in their call for the creation of a National Youth Council to work with federal policymakers.
If schools in your community practice zero tolerance policies, you might want to see why a youth suicide compelled the Forum’s Karen Pittman and Patrick Boyle to blog about the potential harm of such policies. Their message: Forcing a kid to leave a school means a lot more than changing the location of the math class.
How can a community change the quality, coordination and reach of its services, supports and engagement opportunities for children and youth? The Forum’s latest Ready by 21® case study shows how leaders in Petaluma, Calif., did just that, working with the Forum to use the Ready by 21 approach to build a communitywide coalition and develop new strategies that had impact.
Changing the way you do business means changing who is involved in identifying community issues, as well as who is active in taking action toward solutions. Leaders need to engage youth, families and community leaders as organizers, planners and advocates by ensuring ongoing opportunities for leadership and participation. It's important to have strategies that reach all, not just a few.