What is Youth Leadership Development?
Youth Leadership Development (YLD) programs foster in youth the desire and the capacity to affect positive change both in the world around them and in their own lives.
Generally speaking, “leaders” can be defined as those who:
- Think for themselves
- Communicate their thoughts & feelings to others
- Help others understand & act on their own beliefs
- Work with groups of peers to achieve common goals
- Work towards positive change in their local and/or global community
- Possess the skills & competencies to achieve personal and collective goals
YLD programs work to help youth develop a variety of life-skills and leadership skills, including group dynamics, conflict resolution, critical thinking and problem solving, civic responsibility and engagement, goal attainment, and communication skills. Programming may involve formal training as well as volunteering, community service, and other forms of community engagement at either the local or global level.
To learn more about YLD programming, feel free to download the City of Vancouver’s report, Youth Leadership Development in Vancouver.
What was the Vancouver Youth Leadership Development Program Network?
In 2008, in developing the City’s own civic leadership programs for young people, such as YouthPolitik, Social Policy staff looked into what was already happening and what was needed in terms of Youth Leadership Development in Vancouver.
Vancouver is lucky to be home to a vibrant and diverse community of YLD programs and service providers. For a list of some of them, check out our online Directory of youth services & organizations. Narrow down your search to list just "Youth Leadership Development" under "Category".
Many asked for better coordination and collaboration between programs, so the City convened the Network in 2008 to bring programmers together in order to:
- Examine common problems
- Develop solutions, share best practices
- Explore potential ways to collaborate
The Youth Leadership Development Network is currently "on hiatus," but the City of Vancouver continues to support youth leadership development through initiatives like citizenU. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information.