Am I on the Right Track?

It is important when working with youth to reflect together on how your initiatives are going. This teaches youth the value of reflection, it also shows respect for their involvement throughout the process and may also improve your outcomes long-term.

Reflecting on the Youth Engagement Process

As an adult ally, it is important to reflect on the youth engagement process itself. Ask yourself: What went well? What would you do differently?

Consider:

  • Did youth and adults share in decision-making responsibilities?
  • Did youth input receive equal weight when making decisions as compared to adult input?
  • Were youth consulted when activities and timelines were being decided upon?
  • Were youth given leadership roles within the group? (e.g., chair meetings)
  • How did youth voice shape the direction and purpose of the initiative?
  • Were youth engagement practices held in youth-friendly spaces, at locations and during times convenient for youth?

Help students reflect by asking:

  • What went well?
  • What would you do differently?

Keep asking these questions as you work through the stages of planning and implementing your group’s ideas. There may be opportunities for teachable moments, especially when something did not go well.

Think about sustainability

    • How can your student leaders train younger students to take over next year?
    • Encourage youth to invite friends to join youth groups
    • Encourage youth to recruit at networking events

Celebrate!

We all want to feel valued. Celebrating youth involvement sends the message that you value their input, time and dedication. Hopefully this will lead to more involvement in the future!

  • Find a meaningful way to honour students’ involvement. Send a personalized thank you note, make a PA announcement, write a reference letter, or have a party for your last meeting of the year.
  • As a school, plan an event for National Youth Week (external) (May 1-7) as a way of thanking all youth for their continued support.

For more information or consultation: