Fostering Youth Engagement on Community Teams


  • Julie A. Scheve Girls Scouts of the Sierra Nevada
  • Daniel F. Perkins The Pennsylvania State University
  • Claudia C. Mincemoyer The Pennsylvania State University



youth engagement, youth development, collaboration, community youth development


Within the youth development field a growing movement exists to establish youth member positions on community teams (e.g. organizational boards and planning committees). The involvement of youth on decision-making teams is commonly referred to as youth engagement. As a relatively new approach to youth and community development, the existing research shows the potential positive impacts youth engagement efforts may produce and encourages youth practitioners to incorporate such efforts into their programs and organizations. In doing so, successful youth engagement efforts may be sustained within teams that best adapt their organizational structure, policies, and practices to complement the developmental needs of youth. Such adaptations begin with the four team characteristics presented in this paper: adult support, a youth-friendly environment, opportunities to complete meaningful tasks, and opportunities to learn and use new skills. When these practices are woven through the work of the team, youth engagement may flourish.






Program & Practice Articles