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Youth as People: The Protective Aspects of Youth Development in After-School Settings

Heather Johnston Nicholson, Christopher Collins and Heidi Holmer
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 591, Positive Development: Realizing the Potential of Youth (Jan., 2004), pp. 55-71
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4127635
Page Count: 17
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Youth as People: The Protective Aspects of Youth Development in After-School Settings
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Abstract

Youth development organizations have a common commitment to young people s physical, emotional, and educational growth and development. A youth-centered atmosphere where young people feel supported and empowered by the community distinguishes successful programs from others that approach programming without considering young people the most important stake-holders. Programs serve youth best when the environments in which they function are intentionally inclusive, multicultural, and systematically nondiscriminatory. A safe and supportive place in which to develop an identity and confront the tough issues and extraordinary pressures of growing up is at the core of youth development environments that make a real difference. Some of the best youth development programs also make the successful link between volunteerism and positive mental health and support the concept that community service is an important component of subsequent civic engagement.

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