Youth-Centered Programs

Quality youth-centered programs have a clear mission and encourage participants to express their emerging identities. Learning and development require ongoing feedback in varied forms. Therefore, assessment and program evaluation are integrated throughout the programs. Youth-centered programs have cycles of planning, practice, performance and assessment. The programs tailor their activities, techniques and material to the interests, strengths and needs of the youth with whom they work. Youth provide leadership and direction, taking a central role in designing activities, as well as enforcing formal and informal rules for program participants. High quality content and instruction propel youth to accomplishments beyond those they imagined, and programs celebrate young people's achievements.