AfterSchool Today Spring 2016 : Page 16
PROGRAM PROFILE THE POWER OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH & COMMUNIT Y DEVELOPMENT BRINGING FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND ENERGY TO COMMUNITY ISSUES. Y SUBMITTED BY NYC DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Youth leadership Neighborhood Development Areas, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, and others. Over the past year, in response to community-based provider organizations’ requests, COMPASS’ Program Quality and Innovation (PQI) unit and technical assistance provider Development Without Limits (DWL) partnered to create a youth leadership activity requirement framework. The framework’s purpose is to promote a common language for youth leadership development and to help CBO providers map out and design quality youth leadership programming. The intention was not to provide a direct youth leadership definition, as DYCD believed providers— along with young people— should define the approach that best serves their program and community. Instead, the planning teams identified and defined components and supports, and provided an overview of what was needed for youth leadership development to happen. Serving as a guide, this framework was used to help design and map out youth leadership programming, by creating new programming or identifying ways in which providers could embed youth leadership development into existing programming. DYCD knew early on that it wasn’t enough to just create a framework and common language. Through a collaborative effort and active workgroups, a strategy was developed to reinforce and effectively communicate, “What is Youth Leadership?” This approach comprised internal and external strategies, and included a fall kick-off event that highlighted the framework and offered discussions and workshops where programs shared best and promising practices. Workshops, technical assistance and coaching support are offered throughout the year to all program leaders. Participating programs will be invited to submit youth leadership projects, in hopes of winning a chance to present at DYCD’s youth conference later this spring. Finally, American Institutes for Research (AIR) created a self-reflection tool that programs can use to assess the degree to which they embed youth leadership into existing programming. AIR is also developing a leadership survey that will be piloted in SONYC programs this spring. development contributes greatly to the positive development of young people and their communities. It helps young people build skills needed for success in today’s world, and promotes direct benefits to adults and organizations through building stronger connections with youth and bringing fresh perspective and energy to tackling community issues. Since 2008, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has promoted youth leadership efforts with its Teen ACTION and Youth Councils funded programs. More recently, youth leadership development was included as an activity requirement for middle school (SONYC) afterschool programs and as a program element for HOW DYCD DECIDED ON YOUTH LEADERSHIP AS A MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS FOCUS EMOTIONAL competencies—things 2016 like self-awareness, social awareness and self-management. It also teaches practical skills like research, public INTELLIGENCE speaking and meeting facilitation. Finally, we knew from experience that it was a practical way to differentiate programs from the FELLOWS school day. If done well, you won’t immediately be able to point out the staff member, because the kids are in charge.” —Denice Williams, Deputy Commissioner, DYCD “We learned a lot from Teen ACTION, and it only made sense to build on that. It seemed to us to be a great way to build SEL 16 SPRING 2016 | www.naaweb.org
The Power of Youth Leadership - Bringing fresh perspective and energy to community issues.
Submitted by NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
Youth leadership development contributes greatly to the positive development of young people and their communities. It helps young people build skills needed for success in today’s world, and promotes direct benefits to adults and organizations through building stronger connections with youth and bringing fresh perspective and energy to tackling community issues.