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Strengthening Youth Programs with Insights from Youth-Led Research

October 4, 2023

The heart of a positive youth development approach is to ensure that young people are safe and supported to learn and to lead. Yet, genuine youth leadership in youth-serving systems and organizations is not nearly as common as it needs to be for youth-serving fields to realize their potential. One recent bright spot, highlighting the process and the power of supporting youth leadership was the recent study, From Access to Equity: Making Out-of-School Time Spaces Meaningful for Teens From Marginalized Communities, supported by The Wallace Foundation.

Ecosystem for Youth Belonging and Opportunity

The youth-serving fields are made up of complex and dynamic relationships within and across systems. To create truly equitable opportunities for young people, leaders and systems need to collaborate to provide quality support, forming a multi-dimensional Youth Development Ecosystem.

This new graphic illustrates how supportive relationships and cross-system coordination are key to young people achieving their highest potential in education, work, and life.

From Summer Camp to Lasting Impact: Reflecting on Six Decades of Support for Active Learning

August 28, 2023

It's been 60 years since David P. Weikart founded the summer camp that inspired the Youth Program Quality Improvement (YPQI) approach, a signature of the Forum's Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. From summer camp to now, Dr. Kim Robinson shares her reflections on the five critical ingredients that represent areas that adults can and should support for young people in all types of settings, at all times.

A Reflection on the Derek Chauvin Verdict

April 23, 2021

On April 20th, the jury returned their verdict – guilty as charged on three counts for the murder of George Floyd. Moments before the judge read the verdict, my heart was pounding, hoping for the “best”, but fearing more of the same– a country that consistently fails to hold those who murder Black bodies accountable for their crimes. And knowing that my hope for a guilty verdict – even as it was realized – does not represent justice. As Brittany Packnett Cunningham has consistently reminded, justice would be George Floyd still alive. The fact that this was not justice was amplified by the murder of another child, Ma’Khia Bryant, at the hands of police mere minutes after the verdict was read. The brokenness of our systems is breaking our children, especially Black children, and in turn our future.

Our Vision

All young people reach their fullest potential - in education, work, and life.

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