Integrating Youth into Community Development: Implications for Policy Planning and Program Evaluation
As non-profits, volunteer groups, and nongovernmental organizations take on increasingly larger roles in contributing to local well-being, the active collaboration between youth and adults is vital to the long-term success of community development efforts. Similarly, as service activities become standardized components of high-school programs, youth are empowered to becoming long-term contributors to local development efforts. Through this process youth engage in shared citizenship, leading to greater investment in their communities. This research was based on the premise that youth, acting as central parts of the community development process, have the capacity to improve local well-being. It reflects input from 12 key informants and 418 youth who participated in a survey conducted on the development issues contributing to their involvement. The findings of this study provide insights into the factors most directly shaping youth attitudes and involvement in their communities, as well as presenting direct implications for applied use.