Youth As Assets
Youth who have experienced disconnection from education, employment, and other systems often possess insights that could contribute to finding solutions. Unfortunately, many programs and policies are designed without consulting the very youth they are meant to serve and, as a result, fail to achieve high levels of impact.
The following approaches promote peer-led programming, youth leadership, civic engagement and movement building, and demonstrate the impact that youth voices can have in helping youth connect to opportunity pathways.
In 2010, Doncel, a civil society organization in Argentina, started incorporating youth voices more intentionally in its work to prepare to foster youth for indedpendent living.
After years of dedicated work supporting youth transitioning out of foster care in Argentina, Doncel realized that even more could be accomplished when youth insights were taken to heart.
In a sun-drenched room at the Ricardo Flores Magón Community Center on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, 16 young men and women set out to imagine their futures.
Last year, the city of Chicago recorded 762 murders, with other U.S. metropolitan areas reporting even higher per capita murder rates; yet none comes close to the staggering 3,111 homicides committed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 2010.
In the United States, 26,000 youth age out of foster care annually. More than a third never completed high school, with most ill-prepared for the job market. As a result, many wind up on the streets or in jail. A similar scenario prevails in the United Kingdom where over 40 percent of former foster youth are not in education, training, or employment.