The Forum believes that meaningful youth engagement is critical for the creation of sustainable, widespread, high-impact change in the systems and settings that can either support or hinder young people’s progress.
The Rationale for Youth Engagement in Government provides a theoretical and historical context for youth councils by articulating the rationale for engaging youth in policy and decision-making processes and by explaining the Forum’s Principles of Youth Engagement.
Each of the commission’s recommendations is the focus of a chapter in the State Policy Guide. The ten recommendations are:
How are the children and youth in your community doing? What’s their high school graduation rate? How about the number of adolescent pregnancies, rate of childhood obesity and the level of juvenile crime? Are they ready by the age of 21 to go to college, get a job, be a parent?
School districts and municipalities throughout the U.S. are under intense pressure to reform schools, raise graduation rates, and better prepare American youth for a workforce that must compete globally. Improving America’s educational system so that all students have access to a quality education is important but focusing on that system alone will not ensure the educational success of our nation’s young people.