Amplifying Youth Voice Through Youth Leadership Councils

Categorized: Mentoring
A member explains his project to a mentor at a Best Buy Teen Tech Center

The Clubhouse Network staff recently contributed a post to The National Mentoring Resource Center’s blog on the importance of lifting youth voices and building youth leadership councils.

Young people have a unique perspective in society. They hold powerful beliefs, skillsets, and lived experiences, yet their voices are often overlooked in the national narrative. Adults make decisions on behalf of youth on both a national level, where youth have limited input into policy making, and a local level, where youth participate in programming designed by adults. Too rarely are youth given the opportunity to craft their own experiences or build the future they envision.

The article was written by Jennifer Bourgoin, Mentor Program Manager, and Christine Monska, Youth Leadership Program Manager.

The blog post asks, “how can mentoring programs center youth voice in a way that’s authentic to young people’s experiences and passions? How do we design programming that deconstructs the unequal power dynamic embedded in too many adult/youth relationships?”

Bourgoin and Monska prescribe the following actions:

  1. Empower youth to direct their projects
  2. Train mentors to take a backseat
  3. Broaden the definition of “leadership”

For a deeper discussion and explanations, read the full post on The National Mentoring Resource Center’s blog.

In their own words

Hear what Youth Voice means to Clubhouse members.

Download Our Youth Leadership Toolkit