UTILIZING POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director
It sounds simple enough: engage partners in your work that are directly effected by it. Yet, amidst busy schedules, time tables, and expectations, reaching out and including voices in the planning and implementing of programs, policies, or new practices is sometimes a challenge. Positive Youth Development (PYD) is the answer to this conundrum when it comes to creating partnerships with youth when attempting to solve problems that effect whole communities, but especially young people. It is in this vein, the Southern Larimer Prevention Partnership (SLPP) prioritized PYD as a community engagement/training topic. In November, 30+ attendees ranging from Thompson School District staff, to non-profit community partners gathered to learn about PYD, and how to create meaningful and trusting partnerships with youth. The highlight: a portion of the training facilitated by youth leaders themselves, from the Berthoud and Loveland Youth Advisory Commissions (YAC's) on how best to include youth voice in bettering the community. Thank you to all participants and the youth facilitators that made the day successful!