Community Youth Development: Programs, Policies, and Practices

Books

Edited by: Francisco A. Villarruel, Daniel F. Perkins, Lynne M. Borden & Joanne G. Keith

  • Citations
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  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Individual Issues

    Part II: The Intersection of Youth and Community Programs

    Part III: Youth Professionals, Communities, and Youth

  • Dedication

    This book is dedicated to youth, who are our present and our future, who make a difference now and who will make a difference in the future. May their undaunted enthusiasm for life continue to brighten our homes, neighborhoods, communities, and world.

    Copyright

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    Preface

    For many, the new millennium has been viewed as an opportunity for a new beginning. For others, there has been concern about the status quo and whether the new millennium will truly lead to systemic and structural changes that will ultimately enhance the well-being of our communities and our youth. Today's scholars, practitioners, and policymakers continue to wrestle with the question of what can be done to strengthen and enhance developmental outcomes for our youth in the face of the past decade's realities and nightmares, a period marked by school shootings, increases in the media's negative portrayal of youth, and a public perception that youth were simply engaged in more violence than in any other period of our nation's history.

    The issue of promoting developmental opportunities for our nation's youth is not new. Richard M. Lerner, for example, in his volume entitled America's Youth in Crisis (1995), outlines many of the issues that confront our communities and calls for responses from all community residents, not just from concerned parents or youth professionals. James Garbarino offers numerous ideas in two different books, Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment (1995) and Lost Boys (1999), arguing that consistent and reliable positive anchors (institutions and people) are necessary “protectors” and “supporters” for youth. Peter Benson, too, in his volume entitled All Kids Are Our Kids (1997), asserts that the developmental assets needed by youth can best be supported when boundaries between individuals and institutions are minimized. Finally, Karen Pittman, one of our nation's most highly regarded youth advocates, has argued repeatedly that communities and institutions must provide opportunities for youth to develop the six Cs (i.e., competence, connection, confidence, character, caring and compassion, and contribution). In short, these examples reflect the notion that youth development does not and should not occur in isolated contexts. Rather, it should be embedded within the multiple ecologies in which youth, their peers, and their families interact and live.

    Although youth development is not a new area of interest for professionals, what is new is the focus on positive approaches and outcomes. Stated somewhat differently and as briefly noted above, the focus of positive youth development moves from a problem-reduction, deficit-oriented approach to initiatives that build individual capacities; rather than focusing just on risk, there has been a shift to including strengthening protective factors, building competencies, increasing thriving behaviors, and reducing risks.

    Paralleling this shift among professionals has been a similar response from communities in general. Parents as well as other community residents and professionals (e.g., teachers, faith communities, professionals in youth development) are asking similar questions pertaining to young people: “What does it take to create a community that will promote the positive opportunities that can promote the optimal development of all young people?” and “Can professionals and communities successfully intervene with high-risk youth and minimize their engagement in further risk behaviors?” In short, there is an increasing recognition that programs in isolation do not contribute to the well-being of youth as do community-wide initiatives characterized by the goal of making communities better places for all youth to live and grow. Many such efforts are ongoing in communities across the nation. America's Promise, with leadership by Founding Chairman General Colin L. Powell, is one of the best known of these national and statewide efforts.

    Given the growing acceptance of this community-wide approach, practitioners, public policy professionals, the public, and researchers are trying desperately to understand what it takes to create environments that promote the positive and healthy development of all youth. Communities are attempting to redesign themselves to be places that promote the general well-being and positive behavior of all young people while, at the same time, trying to prevent negative behavior. Although communities have begun to see the importance of addressing positive youth development, many communities have a limited understanding of the mobilization required to create an environment that truly promotes positive youth development in all young people. In particular, communities and youth professionals lack an adequate understanding of what their actual actions and institutional programs must be to successfully develop a landscape that provides optimal opportunities for healthy youth development.

    The goal of this volume, then, is threefold: First, it attempts to provide some solid information, practical tools, and selected references to practitioners, advocates, policy professionals, and researchers working in the area of community youth development. Second, it is intended to facilitate an understanding that sustained programs and policies must be embedded within communities as opposed to becoming program-specific initiatives. Finally, this volume seeks to examine and present how either individual or contextual factors can and should be considered when embracing a community youth developmental approach. Chapters in this volume not only synthesize current information in accessible language for practitioners and policy professionals but also provide ideas for the types of programs that need to be developed and researched in order to help inform the future.

    In summary, by examining several critical aspects related to the community youth development framework, focusing on the needs of multiple audiences, programs, and policies, each chapter contributes to an overall understanding of the how and why of community youth development. This book attempts to mobilize readers to adopt a culture that fosters the positive development of youth through a community youth development approach.

    Acknowledgments

    Numerous people and institutions must be thanked for their assistance in the preparation of this volume. The four editors came together from different paths and opportunities, fueled by a common passion and commitment to the well-being of youth. We are grateful to our colleagues who willingly and enthusiastically contributed to the conceptualization and submissions to this volume.

    We also acknowledge the support and encouragement of Richard M. Lerner, whose leadership and vision have been inspirational. Richard, a friend, mentor, and colleague, has demonstrated unwavering commitment and enthusiasm to the community youth development approach. Dale Blyth, another of our friends and supporters, is also worthy of recognition. The opportunities he has provided us, individually and collectively, have benefited us both personally and professionally. His commitment and leadership within the field of community youth development has contributed to the continued movement toward integration of research, practice, and policy. This continued integration will provide a much-needed foundation in the field.

    Support for the work on this volume has come from multiple sources at three land grant universities: Michigan State University (MSU), Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Arizona (UA). We wish to acknowledge the three universities’ Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension Services related to children, youth, and families for encouragement of our development of the book. Jan Bokemeier at the MSU Agricultural Experiment Station provided leadership, support, and opportunities for authors to meet so we could develop a regional research initiative. Support also came from the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station and from the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station.

    Anne Soderman, a colleague and former department chair at MSU, provided wonderful administrative guidance and encouragement, as did Soyeon Shim, Chair of the School of Family Consumer Sciences at UA, and Blannie Bowen, Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at Penn State. Sarra Baraily, Editorial Assistant, demonstrated her skills and remained enthusiastic and willing to contribute to the many creative (but sometimes tedious) tasks involved.

    Finally, and most important, we are grateful to our children, teens and adults—Amalia, Brighid, Julie, Kayla, Kiera, Kyle, Peter, Rob, and Staci—who have blessed us with memories, inspiration, and a dedication to this work. We also acknowledge and express our gratitude and love to our spouses—Gail, Tammy, and Bob—who have provided us with space, time, support, motivation, and hope in our work.

  • Author Index

    About the Contributors

    Nicole Sigler Andrews is an independent consultant in Minnesota. She previously worked with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Center for 4-H Youth Development, focusing on adolescent health issues. In that capacity, she worked with a USDA Cooperative Extension network—the Bridge for Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Sexuality (BAPPS)—that provides research-based resources to support community programs for youth and their families. She received her master's degree in family education at the University of Minnesota.

    Cheryl K. Baldwin is Assistant Professor of Recreation Management in the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Recreation Management at Penn State University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in recreation, park, and leisure studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests focus on adolescents’ use of free time, adolescent motivation for leisure (art, sports, hobbies, and community activities), and the evaluation of community youth development programs. Ongoing research includes the examination of parent influences on adolescent leisure and program-theory-based evaluations of nonformal education settings.

    Lynne M. Borden is Extension Specialist and Associate Professor for children, youth, and families in the School of Family Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. Her research relates to a young person's development, with a specific focus on community youth development, participation in out-of-school time, community programs that promote the positive development of young people, and public policy. Her work includes working with communities to strengthen their community-based programs through evaluation and training. Specifically, her research is focused on assessing the influence of youth programs on the developmental trajectory of young people. She currently cochairs the Research on Adolescence's Special Interest Group on Out-of-School Time as a Context for Development.

    David Brown is Executive Director of the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC). His current work includes spearheading NYEC's policy work, tracking implementation of the Workforce Investment Act across the nation, and leading an effort to connect youth employment and juvenile justice. Prior to joining NYEC, he was a senior policy analyst with the National Governors’ Association, where he focused on youth-related state policy issues. Over the past 22 years, he has benefited from a range of youth policy and program experiences within both public and nonprofit youth-serving organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

    Linda L. Caldwell is Professor of Recreation and Park Management and Professor in Charge of Research for the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Recreation Management at Pennsylvania State University. Much of her research has centered on adolescents, leisure, and health; she is particularly interested in leisure education, prevention research, and the developmental aspects of leisure. Currently, she is the lead investigator on an NIDA-funded substance use prevention program that helps middle school youth learn to use their leisure time wisely. She also is involved with several international projects that focus on developing youth competencies and healthy lifestyles through leisure.

    Marsha Carolan is Associate Professor of Family Studies and Program Director of marriage and family therapy in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, Michigan State University. She received her doctoral degree from Virginia Tech and her master's degree from the University of Connecticut. Her current research interests are in areas related to families and health, including diabetes risk and prevalence in children and adolescents and prevention of eating disorders in youth. In 2001, she received a distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award from Michigan State University.

    Tamara C. Cheshire is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Sacramento City College. Her interests lie in American Indian education and tribal sovereignty issues as well as in developing online courses. She is currently teaching a course called “Native Peoples of California” and two courses on the Native American experience.

    Edward DeJesus serves as a consultant on youth issues for the U.S. Department of Labor, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Youth Employment Coalition, the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, YouthBuild USA, and The Source magazine. He has addressed more than 700 youth service organizations and community groups, as well as more than 75,000 young adults. He has worked with the National Youth Employment Coalition to conduct research on effective programs that help youth acquire and maintain jobs. As a member of the Sar Levitan Center for Youth Policies at John Hopkins University and while serving on the Task Force on Employment Opportunities for young offenders for the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, he increased awareness among policymakers of the needs of out-of-school youth. He is the President and Founder of the Youth Development and Research Fund, Inc. (YDRF), a leading authority on urban youth employment and educational issues.

    Jill Denner is Senior Research Associate at Education, Training, and Research Associates (ETR), a nonprofit health education agency. She uses research-based knowledge to inform the design and evaluation of school and community-based interventions for adolescents, and to evaluate and build the evaluation capacity of community-based agencies. Her current research interests are in gender roles, HIV prevention, and the role of youth in increasing educational equity. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Columbia University.

    Theresa M. Ferrari is Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development. Her 22-year career in extension has included both county- and state-level positions in Maine, Michigan, and Florida. The current focus of her work is expanding 4-H programs through after-school delivery models and conducting research on positive youth development in out-of-school time. She serves on the National 4-H Afterschool Leadership Team and Ohio State's P-12 Initiative. In addition, she teaches courses on youth programs in the Department of Human and Community Resource Development and advises graduate students in extension education. She received her Ph.D. in family and child ecology from Michigan State University in 1998.

    Constance Flanagan is Professor of Youth Civic Development at Penn State University. She completed her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan. Her work in the area of adolescents and the social contract concerns the factors in families, schools, and communities that promote civic values and competencies in young people. She directed a seven-nation study on this topic as well as a study of intergroup relations and beliefs about justice among youth from different racial/ethnic backgrounds in the United States. Two new projects include a longitudinal study of peer loyalty and social responsibility as it relates to teens’ views about health as a public or private issue and to their inclinations to intervene to prevent harm to one another, and a study of the developmental correlates of social trust. She cochairs the Society for Research in Child Development's Committee on Public Policy and Public Information. She is a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar and a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Network on the Transition to Adulthood and Public Policy. She is on the advisory boards of Health Rocks!, Student Voices, and CIRCLE (the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).

    Jeff Frommeyer is a social worker for Hospice of Holland Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his joint master's degree in administrative social work and urban studies from Michigan State University in 2001. He has worked in a variety of intergenerational community settings that promote community, youth, and family well-being, including serving as Coordinator of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee in a large metropolitan area. He coordinated community development policy initiatives including the Kent County Homeless Study and served as the first editor of the Journal of Community Exploration sponsored by the Michigan State University Urban Affairs Student Association.

    Amy Griffin is a doctoral student in the Department of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State University. Her research interests include youth and community asset development, program evaluation, and measurement of youth development concepts. She also works as a program evaluation consultant for nonprofit organizations concerning youth development. She has an M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Michigan State University.

    Tianna L. Hoppe-Rooney is a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She is interested in the area of disordered eating and body image disturbances among adolescents through a family systems and ecological paradigm. She is working with the City of East Lansing to develop and implement an after-school counseling program to offer strengths-based life enhancement groups for adolescents, targeting the transition through puberty and self-image. In addition, she is researching the effectiveness of an innovative prevention program for disordered eating among preteen girls.

    Melissa S. Quon Huber is Research Associate at Michigan State University, jointly appointed in the Community and Youth Development Program in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, the Community and Economic Development Program, and the Department of Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in ecological/community psychology at Michigan State University. Her research has focused on youth advocacy in community and school-based initiatives. She has been a volunteer for various community youth leadership groups and has 10 years of experience in evaluating community and educational initiatives that affect families and their children. She recently received a University/Community Partnership award from the Michigan Neighborhood Partnership for research conducted in Detroit. Her research has been published in the Journal of Community, Work, and Family and in the Academy of Management Executive.

    Angela J. Huebner is Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech, housed at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. She is a community-based action researcher; her work focuses on helping communities to understand and assess the risk and protective factors found in their local youth and in designing programs to meet specific needs for adolescents. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her master's and doctoral degrees in family studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

    Walter T. Kawamoto is Assistant Professor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at California State University, Sacramento. His graduate work included an NIMH-sponsored study conducted with the assistance of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon. He also teaches a course at CSUS focusing on indigenous families. He was a member of the American Indian-Alaska Native Head Start Research and Outcomes Assessment Advisory Panel.

    Joanne G. Keith is Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, Michigan State University. Her scholarship includes integration of research, teaching, and outreach related to community youth development. Current research includes an assets-based approach to positive youth development from elementary school age through college; demographic trends related to children, youth, and families; and community collaborations on behalf of children, youth, and their families. She works with graduate students, faculty, and communities on approaches to community youth development. She is the faculty cochair of a committee to develop an online graduate degree and certificates in youth development in collaboration with the Great Plains Idea, a consortium of 10 land grant universities. The youth development degree and certificates are scheduled to go online in the fall of 2003.

    Cathryn Maddalena is an outreach specialist for Michigan State University's Projects for Community Inclusion, a position that she has held for 15 years. She assisted in the development of the Employment Training Specialist Certification curriculum used in Michigan and Indiana to train and certify supported employment personnel. She has collaborated on a variety of research and demonstration projects with the Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University and the Institute for Disability and Community at Indiana University. She currently provides training and technical assistance to community rehabilitation organizations, mental health agencies, and schools concerned with the transition of students from school to community life across Michigan. She is also a researcher involved in collecting data related to psychosocial rehabilitation for individuals with mental illness.

    Sarah Maxwell is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University (GMU). She has taught courses in the Administration of Justice Program, Department of Public and International Affairs, at GMU. Before entering the doctoral program, she received a number of federal and state grants that provide funds for youth employment programs. She was instrumental in organizing a federal task force on employment and training for court-involved youth and also serves as a consultant for the National Youth Employment Coalition.

    Diana Morrobel is a staff psychologist at the Rafael Tavares Hispanic Mental Health Clinic at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 2001. Her research interests focus on Latinos in the United States, with a particular interest in HIV antibody testing and other health-promoting behaviors among Latinas, Latino youth development, attitudes toward mental illness, and acculturation. Her clinical work involves performing clinical assessments and providing psychotherapy to monolingual Spanish-speaking adults and families in a predominantly Latino community in New York City. Most recently, her clinical experiences have led her to pursue research that explores the clinical manifestations and treatment of anxiety and depression among Dominicans. She has lectured on performing research with Latinos and has also consulted on cultural issues pertinent to counseling and treatment.

    Edna Olive is Founder and Executive Director of ROCKET, Inc. (Reaching Our Children with Knowledge, Expertise, and Teaching), which provides consultation, training, and advocacy to organizations and professionals serving children and youth. In 1994, she received an Ed.D. in special education, with a focus on emotional and behavioral disorders, from George Washington University. As an educator with over 20 years of experience, she has served in a number of professional capacities including teacher, state education officer, principal, director, curriculum developer, and adjunct professor. She has developed and managed therapeutic treatment and educational programs for troubled youth and adolescents throughout the Washington, D.C., and Greater Metropolitan areas. She is a certified national senior trainer in Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) and serves on the Board of Directors for Reclaiming Youth International in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    Esther Onaga is Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State University. She is currently Chair of the Disability Interest Group of the Society for Community Research and Action. She is Principal Investigator for a project on inclusive recreation for children and youth with disabilities. Her work in the community includes being a parent trainer for the Parent Training Information Center for Michigan and a member of the Parent Advisory Committee at the local school level.

    Karen L. Pace is a program leader for Diversity and Multicultural Education with Michigan State University Extension's Children, Youth, and Family Programs. She has created educational programs and curricula for nearly 20 years for people who work with and care about young people. She teaches and facilitates workshops and training programs in communities across Michigan and across the country on issues of character education, diversity and multiculturalism, bullying prevention and social justice education. She is also part of the national faculty for CHARACTER COUNTS! (a nonpartisan, community-driven effort that brings diverse people and organizations together on issues of character education). She holds a master's degree in family and child ecology from Michigan State University and has completed extensive learning in social justice education through the Institute for Intercultural Communications; Cultural Bridges; VISIONS, Inc.; the Leaven Center; and the Healing Racism Institute.

    Daniel F. Perkins is Associate Professor and Extension Specialist of Family and Youth Resiliency and Policy in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at Pennsylvania State University. He received a Ph.D. in family and child ecology in 1995 from Michigan State University. His research examines factors and assets related to a young person's development, including youth engagement in positive opportunities during out-of-school time, strengths-based programming, and family and youth resiliency. His work also includes the evaluation of community-based programs, and he is currently evaluating several violence prevention programs. He provides leadership to the Statewide Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program and travels extensively around the state working with Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development agents on issues related to children, youth, and families.

    Jean E. Rhodes is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She received her Ph.D. in clinical/community psychology from DePaul University. For over a decade, she has conducted research on the mentoring of children and adolescents, including an extensive analysis of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national impact study. In addition, she has explored the influence that natural and assigned mentors have on adolescent mothers. She is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on the Transition to Adulthood. She has published a book and many articles and chapters on the topic of youth mentoring.

    Michael C. Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in measurement and quantitative methods at Michigan State University and an M.A. in public affairs at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. His current research addresses large-scale test design, item writing, and reliability theory. He also has substantive research interests in Latino youth development and conducts methodological research in the evaluation of youth development programs. He is currently validating several youth development program evaluation instruments with Spanish-speaking immigrant youth.

    Jennifer G. Roffman is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She received a Ph.D. in human development and social policy from Northwestern University in 2000. Her work focuses on the impact of mentors and other significant nonparental adults on youth well-being.

    Stephen T. Russell is Director of the 4-H Center for Youth Development at the University of California, Davis, in the Department of Human and Community Development. He completed his Ph.D. in sociology at Duke University in 1994 and is a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar (2001–2006). His research focuses on adolescent sexuality development and the health and well-being of sexual minority youth. He leads a national USDA Cooperative Extension network — the Bridge for Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Sexuality (BAPPS)—that provides research-based resources to support community programs for youth and their families.

    Jennifer Sazama is Codirector of Youth on Board. Since the age of 11, she has led hundreds of workshops on youth voice, youth power, and improving relationships between young people and adults, both nationally and as far away as South Africa. Prior to joining Youth on Board, she established and directed Youth in Action (a program designed to organize and empower teens to take leadership in their neighborhoods) at the Villa Victoria youth center in Boston's South End. In 1993, she founded the Resource Center for Youth and Their Allies, a nonprofit organization that coordinates ongoing support groups for youth workers, disabled young people, teen mothers, and other groups. She has also authored or coauthored 10 publications pertaining to youth involvement. She currently serves as vice president of the Re-evaluation Foundation and as a foundation board member for the Church Home Society.

    Vincent Schiraldi is Founder and President of the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) and former President of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ). He has conducted cutting-edge criminal justice research and media advocacy. He has authored numerous studies on topics including race and incarceration, the tradeoff between prison and university spending, and school violence and media coverage of juvenile crime, among others. He has also been featured on national television, radio, and in print media discussing and debating emerging justice issues and has published numerous commentaries on adult and juvenile justice.

    Carola Suárez-Orozco is Executive Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. She is also Coprincipal Investigator of a longitudinal, interdisciplinary study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, examining the adaptation of Central American, Chinese, Dominican, Haitian, and Mexican youth. Her research focus in recent years has been on the intersection of cultural and psychological factors in the adaptation of immigrant and ethnic minority children, with particular focus on Latino youth. She has conducted research in the United States as well as in Mexico and Argentina.

    Beth Van Horn is an educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on youth civic involvement in community groups.

    Francisco A. Villarruel is Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Child Ecology and a research associate in the Institute for Children, Youth, and Families (ICYF) at Michigan State University. He is also affiliated with the Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI), which is committed to the generation, transmission, and application of knowledge to serve the needs of Latino communities in the Midwest. He earned his Ph.D. in human development at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His research interests focus on Latino youth and families, community youth development, and policies that promote the well-being of youth. He is the recipient of several awards, including the W. K. Kellogg National Fellowship, an ETS-HACU Policy Fellowship, and the CIC-ALP Fellowship. He is also coauthor of Dónde está la justicia? A call to action on behalf of Latino and Latina youth in the U.S. justice system (July, 2002), the first national analysis of Latino and Latina youth in the juvenile justice system.

    Joyce A. Walker is Professor and Youth Development Educator at the Center for 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota. She coordinates the Youth Development Leadership M.Ed., a professional studies program in the College of Education and Human Development, and is Project Director for the Minnesota Youth Work Institute. Her work on organizational approaches to youth development, community youth policy, and youth worker professional development reflect her priorities for substantive bridging of research and practice. Her Ph.D. in adult education is from the University of Minnesota.

    Amy Weisenbach is an M.B.A. student at Harvard Business School. A longtime advocate for youth participation, she founded the At the Table initiative at the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development. (At the Table is a collaborative effort that aims to increase youth participation and hosts the online clearinghouse http://www.AtTheTable.org.) While in college, she served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including the National 4-H Council, where she helped to increase the number of youth members on the board.

    Nicole Yohalem is Manager of Learning and Research of the Forum for Youth Investment. Previously, she served as Youth Development Specialist at Michigan State University, where she developed, implemented, supported, and evaluated community-based youth programs in the Cooperative Extension Service. She also served as Extension Educator at MSU, developing 4-H programs that serve urban youth. From 1990 to 1995, she worked in the adolescent division of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, where she staffed and later directed the foundation's residential programs for teens while developing training materials for use in a wide range of youth programs. She received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in its multidisciplinary risk and prevention program.


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