From Periphery to Center: Pathways for Youth Civic Engagement in the Day-To-Day Life of Communities

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Inclusive participation is a primary component of civil society. Yet opportunities and pathways for youth civic engagement remain limited for youth. This limitation has been significantly influenced by the daily segregation of youth from adults, negative public beliefs about adolescents, and stereotypes, both negative and overly romantic, about the capabilities of adolescents. However, this state of affairs is being challenged by youth and adults across the county. Five contemporary pathways for youth civic engagement are described: public policy/consultation, community coalition involvement, youth in organizational decision making, youth organizing and activism, and school-based service learning. Three overarching qualities among these 5 pathways are also discussed: youth ownership, youth-adult partnership, and facilitative policies and structures.


Linda Camino, Shepherd Zeldin

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