Positive Youth Development

Engineering students mentor at middle school with STARBASE

This spring, through the STARBASE Nebraska program, six students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) College of Engineering have dedicated an hour each week to go back to sixth grade and help the next generation of engineers.

Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs Develops Common Language on Positive Youth Development

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs supports several subgroups, including one focused on Positive Youth Development. Eight Federal youth-serving departments participate actively on this subgroup, which is focused on identifying promising approaches, strategies, and evidence related to positive youth development, youth-adult partnerships, and youth engagement in youth programs.

How much do you know about…4-H and Positive Youth Development?

  • 4-H provides opportunities for youth development and for youth to develop skills, practical knowledge, and wisdom through observing, doing, and living through experiences.
  • The 4 H's are Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.
  • 4-H emphasizes the practical application of knowledge or "learning by doing" to develop skills and acquire a sense of responsibility, initiative, and self-worth.

Portland Kids Learn about Life and Basketball at the Hoopin' It Up Camp

Each year, 50 youth participate in Hoopin' it Up, a basketball camp open to youth living in the Hillsdale Terrace and Slavin Court public housing communities in southwest Portland.

Minnesota's Support Systems for Rural Homeless Youth Program

Among homeless youth in Minnesota, Native Americans are one of three high risk populations (the others being African Americans and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Questioning youth).  Native American youth make up 1% of the state’s youth population but constitute 20% of the state's homeless youth.1  Despite this disparity, there are few programs that are culturally specific to Native youth and even fewer located on any of the state's eleven Reservations.  

National Youth Listening Tour

Just one month after taking office, President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative, where he challenged America to have the highest proportion of college graduates – whether from one-year, two-year, or four-year programs – in the world by 2020. The U.S. Department of Education is leading a National Youth Listening Tour to engage youth on the President’s 2020 goal. 

Youth Engaged 4 Change

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP) launched Youth Engaged for Change (YE4C), a site created in partnership with youth and young adults to encourage other youth to shape programs, policies, and services that affect them and to promote meaningful partnerships between youth and adults.

Secretary Duncan Hosts First Meeting with National Council of Young Leaders

The National Council of Young Leaders is a newly established council with a diverse group of young people.  The council, which launched on September 19, has 14 founding members ranging in ages 18-34, representing both urban and rural low- income areas, who advise policy makers, business leaders and foundations on issues affecting low-income youth and their communities.

The CITY Project

The Community Improvement Through Youth (CITY) Project uses Youth Community Action, a Cornell Cooperative Extension Signature Program, as a model for promoting civic engagement, workforce preparation, and asset development among youth (13-18 years old) in New York State’s Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Project. Using a broad-based community collaboration approach, the CITY Project is working in Broome County and New York City to empower at-risk youth to become community change agents.

Washington State Youth Take Civic Activism To New Level

photo of Sierra"I don't think anyone should have to go through what a lot of kids face; I've been taking care of my mom since I was ten," says Sierra, a student facing family mental health issues, who attends school in a Spokane dropout retrieval program.

"And life isn't fair, but you have to learn how to deal with it anyways. All the life problems outside the school doors come first before we are going to read a textbook."