Quality of Life Result:
All children and youth in Connecticut will become resilient, empowered,
productive and engaged citizens.
Nashville’s Keys to Success:
Principles for Engaging Young People in
- Design an Outreach Strategy –
Nashville leadership sought diverse input, and found young people who had
access to adult support via a community organization or another mechanism.
- Create a Home Base – Choose
convenient and consistent meeting locations so that young people develop a
sense of familiarity with their surroundings. Meet in youth-friendly places
to help young people feel safe.
- Convey an Intentional Philosophy of Change
– It is important for leadership to state the importance of meaningful
youth involvement openly and frequently. The mayor and his staff made it
clear from the beginning that young people needed to play a critical role in
- Identify Issues – The Mayor’s
Youth Council identified issues that were important to young people. This
created authenticity and coherence for the plan, and insured that it
targeted changes that young people want and need, not just what adults think
- Create Youth and Adult Teams –
Having two members on each of the planning committees was important. Moving
out of the planning phase, leaders are creating pathways for the Mayor’s
Youth Council to partner with adults who are involved in implementation.
- Build Youth and Adult Capacity
– This is difficult in such a short and intense planning process, but is
an important longer term goal in order to build community capacity across
- Provide Individual Support – On
task force committees where adults had experience supporting young people,
the young people felt more supported and therefore stayed more involved.
- Create Opportunities for Sustained Access and
Influence – Nashville did not stop at
engaging youth in planning; it created mechanisms for youth to participate
in implementation as well.
Core principles referenced from Core
Principles for Engaging Young People in Community Change, Forum for Youth
the case study here.