Youth engagement happens when young people get involved in activities that create positive social change.
- identify qualities in themselves that contribute to self-esteem;
- express their feelings, ideas, and opinions in thoughtful ways;
- work toward setting meaningful goals;
- and, socialize with others in healthy ways.
The kind of activity in which the youth is engaged can be almost anything. These activities also provide opportunities for young people to create adult partnerships that are structured so that both sides can contribute, teach, and learn from each other. Such partnerships help adults understand what it is like to grow up in today’s world. In that way, adults also benefit from learning to better understand and value young people, their feelings, ideas, and opinions.
Young people deserve the right to represent their own interests and have their voices heard. Youth engagement activities give them the platform to do this.
Youth engagement is also important in preparing young people to be good citizens in their communities. Through embracing the diversity of young people, communities benefit from an improved quality of life for all. There are unlimited opportunities for someone wanting to get involved. If you’re still wondering how such an experience would benefit you, consider that an engaged youth:
- gets a sense of belonging from the activity and feels connected to the people involved with the activity;
- finds the activity or participation in it fun or enjoyable;
- feels that the activity is meaningful, important, and worthwhile;
- feels that the activity is an important part of his or her identity;
- and, gets a sense of pride, accomplishment or satisfaction from achievements in the activity.
Any way you look at it, youth engagement is a win/win situation. Young people benefit by gaining skills, knowledge, self-esteem, and connectedness to their peers (people their age) and adults. Youth engagement also gives young people a feeling that their ideas matter, that their voices are being heard, and that their actions can lead to positive social changes.
Who wouldn’t want to be apart of something like that?
Be Unlimited is promoting youth engagement in a MAJOR way. On Tuesday, May 8th, Be Unlimited, LLC will present the 2012 Be Unlimited Youth Engagement Summit, in association with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. To learn more about this incredible upcoming event, visit the YES 2012 section of this site.
Get ready to make your mark!