Youth Workers’ Role in Engaging Youth in Health Advocacy for Community-Level Change

Maureen Toomey, Carol Smathers, Anne M. Iaccopucci, Karen Johnston, Elaine Johannes


Youth development professionals and volunteers, here referred to collectively as “youth workers,” need to be prepared to engage young people as health advocates. Youth workers need an understanding of public health principles; policy, systems, environment change approaches; and effective youth–adult strategies to move from viewing youth as participants to engaged leaders in community health issues. Embracing youth as partners will create effective partnerships and yield substantial positive health impacts for the youth, adults, and their communities.


positive youth development; policy, system, and environment change; youth advocate; health; advocacy

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