Youth Leadership Development
The Freechild Project believes that while youth leadership development
has long been seen as a tool for manipulation of youth power, there is
possibility and reality for young people becoming powerful, engaged
leaders for social change.
Point to Ponder
"You wouldn't take a sixteen-year-old, give them the
keys to a car, and let them loose on city streets to 'learn how to
drive' - and we shouldn't do that with community leadership, either."
The Freechild Project has identified the following local and national youth leadership development
organizations and opportunities.
Center for Third World
Organizing Programs for Young Activists of Color (Oakland, CA) -
The Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO, pronounced "C-2") is a racial
justice organization dedicated to building a social justice movement led by
people of color.
Lideres Youth Leadership
Summit (Washington, DC)
- This National Council of La Raza program brings together Latino students,
youth leaders and activists from community and campus-based organizations
throughout the country and takes place in conjunction with the NCLR
Social Change (Chicago, IL) -
Mixed age participants learn about topics including understanding the
relations of power, building coalitions, recruiting leaders, the economic
context of organizing, choosing issues, using direct action, researching for
campaigns, working with religious groups and unions, surviving the long
haul, fundraising and developing winning strategies.
Mountain Learning Center (Gallup, NM) -
Developed by the National Indian Youth Leadership Project, this program
travels around the nation to train Native youth through a living service
learning curricula. Youth have done oral history projects with elders,
renovated buildings at the Learning Center, volunteered at the Zoo and more
projects of their own design.
Social Action and
Leadership School for Activists (Washington, DC)
- SALSA is a skills training program to strengthen community activism and
engaged citizenship. Classes in the Washington, D.C. area focus on scores
of topics in nonprofit management, communications, fundraising, direct
action, and career development.
Peace Jam (Nationwide) -
PeaceJam is an international education program that gathers the idealism,
experience, and energy of high school youth, their teachers, and community
leaders, and combines that with leading Nobel Peace Laureates who work
personally with the youth to pass on the spirit, skills, and leadership of
Institute for Community Leadership
(Kent, WA) - ICL works with schools, community organizations, and
governmental programs to empower individuals and organizations to create a
vision of a more just nation and world and to develop and sustain within
themselves the strength, hope, leadership, relationships, and organizational
integrity to bring about that vision.
The Center for Teen
Empowerment (Boston, MA) -
The mission of the Center for Teen Empowerment is to realize the potential
of inner-city youth to build healthier and safer communities and schools.
Teen Empowerment hires and trains urban youth, including at risk youth, to
be community organizers. Our programs are based on the belief that urban
youth represent a valuable, untapped resource and can significantly
contribute to the rejuvenation of neighborhoods and local institutions.
Youth Leadership Support
Network (Takoma Park,
MD) - The Youth Leadership Support Network is a violence prevention, arts,
education, media and training network based in Washington, D.C. Its mission
is to empower youth to express themselves and have a voice in society
through intergenerational and diverse leadership opportunities and civic
Youth as Resources
(Nationwide) - Youth and adults working together to support programs that
young people design and carry out. A great opportunity for young people to
address social problems and contribute to significant community change.
Youth Action Net
(Website) - A website dedicated to supporting and nurturing youth as leaders
through opportunities to share knowledge and creativity and networking. Also
includes listings of youth-related volunteer, education and job
opportunities throughout the world working with and for young people in
action. Supported by the International Youth Foundation.
Youth Leadership Institute
(San Francisco, CA) - Advocates youth service and leadership throughout
government, non-profit and community programs.
National Indian Youth
Leadership Project (Gallup, NM) -
NIYLP's mission is to engage Native youth in challenging activities and
meaningful experiences in the community and the natural world, as well as
through academic, artistic and athletic performance. It is also to honor
Native youth by preparing them for whole and healthy lives as capable,
contributing and caring members of their family, community, tribe, and
nation through traditional teachings and values.
Clearinghouse for Youth Service Bibliography
This is a huge reference area, and at the bottom it contains links to
Looking for Young People, Listening for Youth Voice [in Nat'l Service] John Beilenson,
Social Policy magazine.
YoungerWorld.org for the latest news, tools
and ideas behind The Freechild Project!