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Leadership in Healthy Youth Development

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

A while back, I had the privilege of working within a dazzling group of people demonstrating passion, collaboration and inventiveness in youth development. I had been invited down to Southern California to deliver a couple of workshops around my Youth Engagement Model and I’ve come away with a much broader view of how leaders can nurture healthy youth development.

Until recently, I would have said that I try to seek opportunities for collaboration and inclusivity within youth engagement. But now I see I had been looking at my scope of work in sustainable transportation too closely because this same model suits other avenues of climate action, health and wellness. All the benefits of an authentic youth engagement approach can have value within a much larger arena of youth development, social engagement and wellness. Thanks to the California Friday Night Live* Partnership Leadership Training Institute.

As a facilitator of workshops, I was unable to attend all the sessions that I would have liked! But in the ones that I attended, I was able to picture my work, and inspirations, within areas that contribute to a much broader view of social health: preventing binge drinking and underage drinking, suicide prevention, teen violence, drunk and distracted driving, and addressing social norms working against the health of the community.

From all across California, a strong youth development network came together and I was honoured to be included. The California Friday Night Live Partnership provides a Roadmap for implementation and a standard of practice. The clubs, programs and mentoring appear to be the result of years of implementation, collaboration and meaningful relationships among thousands.

Thank you California Friday Night Live: glad to have met you!

* Friday Night Live builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development which engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities. The reference to 'Friday night' aims to keep teenagers safe on what has historically been the most dangerous night of the week for alcohol and vehicle related injuries.

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