Checklist for Youth Participation

Checklist for Youth Participation

by Naomi Ortiz

1) Get a group of youth together.

2) The more diverse group of youth to participate, the better (diverse in race, sexual orientation, gender, class and disability).

3) Have one or more specific adult as a contact for them to talk about any problems with logistics, feeling uncomfortable, etc.

4) Make sure there are clear expectations about what you may expect from the youth. For example, "We want your opinions & ideas and the appropriate time to express them is at the board meeting."

5) Make sure you are as consistent as possible in everything you do with the youth.

6) Watch out for using big words or acronyms (if you do, make sure you explain).

7) Make sure youth understand that they have a right to challenge and their opinions are as important as the adults.

8) Don't put the youth on the spot; they will contribute if they feel comfortable.

9) Realize that this is a learning experience for all involved, don't freak out over mistakes in protocol, etc.

If you have additional tips you would like to share, send them to Feel free to distribute widely, with attribution. Thanks.

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