The Role of Youth Program Leaders in the Use of Technology: Challenges and Opportunities for Youth-Serving Organizations


  • Mimi Nichter University of Arizona
  • Lynne Borden University of Minnesota
  • Veronica Przybyl University of Arizona



Youth-serving organizations offer young people an opportunity to gain skills and advance their knowledge of current and evolving technology through experiential learning. The key to ensuring that young people have meaningful learning experiences is directly related to the youth program leader who is responsible for designing and implementing these programs. Programs conducted by well-trained and well-prepared adults are an essential component of community-based interventions. To date, there is relatively limited research on how technology such as smart phones can be used in community-based programs and the success or failure of this as a strategy for delivering information and engaging young people in a program. In this paper, we discuss how technology was introduced into eight programs conducted by youth-serving organizations in the Southwest. We discuss the training of youth program leaders and their experience using technology at their sites, highlighting what worked and what was problematic, how challenges were overcome, and lessons learned.






Program & Practice Articles