Organizing for Change

09 - Empowering Youth

September 26, 2017

Organizing for Change Podcast - Episode 09 Show Notes

Goal: “to equip coalitions, organizations, and individuals to bring change to their community”

Host, Amanda Decker joins the youth from the Ashland's Decisions at Every Turn (DAET) Coalition to talk about engaging youth in creating change. If you have questions about how to get more youth involved, what to have them do in your coalition and how to keep them engaged, this is the episode for you.


Welcome to Episode 009 of the Podcast: Empowering Youth

Guest: Youth Members of the Ashland Decisions at Every Turn Coalition

The DAET coalition is a community-based group with stakeholders from many organizations throughout Ashland. The group is dedicated to creating a safe and healthy Ashland by working as a community to prevent, reduce, and solve the problems that can lead to youth substance abuse. The coalition was awarded the Drug Free communities grant in 2013.

DAET Website:

DAET Facebook:

Organizing for Change Website:

Organizing for Change Twitter: @organizing4chng


3 Insights from This Episode:

  1. Empower your youth. If you are making decisions in your organization, agency or community that affect youth, it is important to have youth involved in the process. Give youth real leadership roles. Empower youth to have real decision making authority. Often adults are hesitant to give youth authority when decision making because they are worried they will not make a great choice for their coalition or agency. This results in tokenism of youth (just having a youth at the table because you are supposed to).
  2. Train your youth. How do you increase the likelihood that youth will make a great choice for their coalition or agency? Train them. The DAET invested funds and time in training youth by sending them to the National Leadership forum put on by CADCA. This training for youth helps them to understand the process of change and breaks things down so the youth were able to put their knowledge to work in helping create their coalition's action plan for the next year. When the DAET youth were trained, they understood what needed to happen in order to create a working plan for their community. It is so important to regularly train your youth. When youth have the good training to make an informed decision, they can be a powerful asset to the coalition.
  3. Support your youth. Youth need to be valued and advocated for. Not every adult will believe youth are capable of working with your organization or coalition to make change. Having adult supporters to make sure the youth voice is heard and valued will make a big impact.


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