Positive Youth Development through Civic Engagement

Jennifer S. Parker, Laura Bauknight

Abstract


As part of the 175th anniversary celebration of Spartanburg, South Carolina, three local foundations and the United Way agreed to fund a youth leadership project. A University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) faculty member with expertise in youth development and the coordinator of the Spartanburg Youth Council agreed to develop the project and serve as the project directors. We developed a youth philanthropy project with expected outcomes of positive development, increased awareness of community issues, and greater civic engagement for the youth. A group of eighteen teens participated in the yearlong project. Interactive workshops on topics such as community goals, grant writing, writing the request for proposals and reviewing grants were conducted. At the culmination of the project, the young philanthropists awarded grants totaling $12,000 to eight youth serving organizations. The teens reported many positive developmental experiences and greater awareness of community needs and increased responsibility to their community.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2009.255

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