Greetings and welcome to the New Journal of Youth Development!


With the start of 2017, I am the new editor of the Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice (JYD), an open-source, peer-reviewed, quarterly online publication dedicated to advancing youth development practice and research. JYD serves applied researchers and evaluators as well as practitioners who work in youth-serving organizations or the intermediaries that support them.

I am an Associate Professor and Specialist in Youth Work Practice at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. I provide leadership to the understanding and development of youth work practice. I study the role that adult program leaders, staff and volunteers play in supporting youth development in programs. A big area of my research explores the dilemmas that practitioners face in their everyday work with young people and their strategies for addressing these challenges. I also lead professional development programs aimed at supporting and improving youth work practice. A major focus for the past few years has been in supporting social and emotional learning.

In terms of my goals and vision for the journal, I think that JYD fills a critical niche – a place for applied scholarship and practice-based work. In other words, relevant and useful studies about and for those working with and on behalf of young people. I will be seeking articles that feature applied research that can inform practice, useful evaluation strategies to improve programs for youth, and promising programs that have insights for others. I expect all articles to have clear implications for youth development research, practice, and programming.

Special thanks to outgoing editor Patricia Dawson for getting three 2016 issues prepared for publication – they are available now! 


Kate Walker, JYD Editor