Resources for: Positive Youth Development

Youth Topics


Mentoring creates caring, empathetic, consistent, and long-lasting relationships, often with some combination of role modeling, teaching, and advising that benefits both the youth and mentor by helping youth to succeed in life and meet their goals.

Civic Engagement and Volunteering

Civic engagement includes both paid and unpaid forms of political activism, environmentalism, volunteering, and community and national service. Civic engagement and volunteering can be beneficial for both youth and communities.

Positive Youth Development

Positive youth development is an intentional, strength-based, pro-social approach that engages youth within communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in productive and constructive manner that promotes positive outcomes.

Service Learning

Service-learning is a strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and self-reflection to support academic learning, teach civic responsibility, developing 21st century skills, increasing global awareness, and strengthen communities.

Collaboration Profiles

Youth M.O.V.E. National: Making a Difference through Youth-Adult Partnerships
Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is a youth and young-adult led national advocacy organization that wants to change the world. The organization is devoted to improving services and systems that support young people. They focus on empowering young people to partner with adults to create meaningful change in mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems.
Group of teenage friends gardening
The Department of the Interior (DOI) supports and promotes youth involvement in the environment by working across bureaus within DOI to develop policies and programs that support youth engagement, collaborating with other federal departments and initiatives that support youth involvement in the great outdoors, and sharing information and resources through a youth-targeted website,
USDA and the Military Support Youth through Positive Youth Development
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partners with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) and the Army, Navy and Air Force to support military-connected children and youth and ensure that service members are able to focus on readiness and the mission.
Navicate helps to supports a collaboration of schools, businesses, colleges, and other organizations to foster opportunities for community service, leadership development, career and college exploration, internships, and employment for youth in Vermont as they transition from school to careers and postsecondary education.
The Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD) Council is an interagency effort involving multiple state-level departments. Since 1999 the council has worked to coordinate its efforts and support positive youth development throughout Iowa.
Partnership for Results
Learn how Cayuga County in Central New York developed a collaborative model of local governance to implement a broad spectrum of evidence-based programs.
The National Organizations for Youth Safety is a coalition of national organizations, business leaders, and federal agencies focused on youth engagement and the promotion of youth health and safety.
Youth National Guard AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program have partnered to create a pipeline for disadvantaged youth by providing transitional structures, supports, and experiences to develop skills and provide leadership opportunities.


Disabled Girl With Her Teacher

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Mak

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

Teen cleaning the graffiti on the wall

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).

Youth Voices


"When I look back at my past experiences, it amazes me what a youth from South Central [LA] was able to accomplish. I enjoy giving other youth the same feeling."


"I was inspired to create MY LIFE...because there was really a lack of places that youth could share their voice, and make a positive difference in their lives and in the community."


"Being part of this youth board turned my anger for the foster care system into passion. I had a story but my peers did, too. It became less about me and more about a group of youth who many people forget about."


“A lot of people might think that you may not have good ideas because you're a teenager, but working hard makes a big difference as it shows [others] you have a voice and you are capable…”

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