Youth Voice and Leadership Professional Development Series: Part 1

Youth Voice and Leadership Professional Development Series: Part 1


(Johanna Bergan)
Hi, my name is Johanna. I serve
as the Executive Director of Youth M.O.V.E. National,
and M.O.V.E. stands for Motivating Others
through Voices of Experience. We are a youth-driven
chapter membership organization with Youth M.O.V.E. chapters in states and counties
across the country. And our staff team spends
most of our time supporting our chapter network
and communities like yours in engaging youth
as stakeholders and decision-makers
in transforming the social system
that affects them. And today,
we’re really excited to apply our experience and knowledge
to your work within the Healthy Transitions
initiative and really set up
some strategic thinking for you and your teams
as you deepen your youth engagement
within the initiative. I am calling in
from Decorah today and I’m very excited
to be with you. Hannah, you wanna say
hello to everyone? (Hannah Raiche)
Yeah, so my name is Hannah Raiche, and I am
the Youth Program Specialist in the Member Servicing Department
at Youth M.O.V.E. National and I am calling in
from New Hampshire today and we are amid a snow storm,
so I apologize if at any point my connection gets a little
fuzzy or anything like that but, otherwise, very excited
to be on the call and I see some familiar names of people
that are joining us today so I’m excited to see that
and get us started. (Johanna)
Awesome, okay, and so Hannah and I will be moving
back and forth presenting content with you
as well as engaging you in discussion
in peer learning today. So, a quick overview of what we
would like to do and there are three primary objectives
for today’s meeting and, as we’ve mentioned, this is the first in a four-part
series so these objectives are gonna carry
throughout the series. So the first objective in the Youth Engagement
and Leadership Series is to develop and build capacity in each of your
professional skill sets and your leadership skill sets
to lead and innovate in the areas of youth engagement
and youth voice. Our second objective is really
to build a project community to help us connect and deepen
our ties with each other. While we may be in different
communities across the country, we have resources,
experiences, ideas, that can benefit each other. And so, Hannah and I
are going to engage you in peer sharing and learning and I am excited to hear
about your contribution. And the third part of today’s–
the third objective of today’s webinar is really
to connect youth advocates and professionals
across the country that are part
of Healthy Transitions. We’ve had different levels
of ability and opportunity to meet each other in person
and virtual learning platform and so this is really a series
designed to help those of us that are passionate
about youth engagement deepen our connections together. So our agenda today
is up on your screen now. We’re gonna do a brief amount
of presentation to kick us off. We wanna make sure that we
have a shared understanding of terminology and definition
and understand where Hannah and I come from in terms of our philosophy
of youth engagement. We’re gonna explore
the continuum of youth voice, which is a handy tool for you
guys to work with and use in your community. And then we’re gonna spend sort of three discussion points
with you today. The first is going to be
a reflection on where you are now
and what’s going really well, and that is going to kick us off into our second area
of discussion which is, you know, where can we grow? Where are our opportunities
for the future? And then we wanna leave today
with having the opportunity to set some goals for our–
for each of you in terms of where
your next area of growth and youth engagement
is going to be. There is gonna be a series
of discussion questions that we use
throughout today’s webinar and I would encourage
for those of you that may be joining this call as just one representative
of your team or of your community
in leadership, that you could consider taking
these questions back as a planning framework
to use with your team as you think about
youth engagement as a whole. Youth engagement will never be
just the role and the responsibility
of one person and, instead, is responsibility
of our entire team. And so, Hannah and I are hoping
that we’re providing some thought-provoking questions
for you guys to take back and use after this webinar. So, what would be really helpful
is if we could get to know each other a little bit better. So we’re gonna ask just a couple
of polling questions. We’ll use the responses
to these polling questions as well as what
you’re already chatting to the chat box to help
define and describe who our community is. The first polling question
should be up on your screen now and we’re asking you
about the organization that you represent today
on the phone. And we want you to pick
the, sort of, best fit so you can use your cursor
to pick a bubble and we’ll give you guys,
oh, 60 seconds or so to pick the organization representation
that’s the best fit for you. Oh, great, that’s so cool. Okay, so some of you
chose “Other.” If you are from a different type
of organization, can you let us know what that–
what type of organization that is in the chat box? And we’ve got some folks
representing their local
mental health agencies, family organizations,
youth organizations. Excellent. And in this polling question, we’re gonna be asking you
about your role. And again, if you’re like me, you always wanna pick
three bubbles, so we’d like you to pick the best fit
from this list of responses. And again, we’ll give you
a little over a minute to read through
and make that selection. All right, great. And here, the poll results
are on the screen. So we have
a strong representation of youth coordinators and youth peer providers
on the phone as well as project leadership
and TA providers. Excellent. Okay, great, so Hannah and I are
fans of polls so we’ll use them throughout this webinar series to engage and find out
more about you. We’re really excited
that there’s such a strong representation
of youth leadership on this call and one of the really amazing
innovations within the Healthy Transitions
initiative is that deep investment
in youth voice. So we’re gonna be talking
a lot throughout these webinars about how to broaden youth voice
and engagement from the voices of, you know, one or two or a handful
of young people to really become a multitude of excited
youth voices throughout our work. And I am gonna pass over
to Hannah to get us set up for our discussion today. (Hannah)
Awesome, thanks, Johanna. So we always like to start
our webinars and meetings off with having some group norms
and we start them off this way so that we
can remind everybody of, like, pertinent things
such as mute your lines when you’re not talking. There isn’t, like, a lot
of background noise, but we also like to create
a safe space for everybody to feel like they’re able
to be heard and they’re able
to also actively listen to others’ opinions,
and so I guess we recommend for everyone else in doing
youth work to have, like, group norms
as a regular thing that’s incorporated
into activities and programming so that everybody’s
really on the same page about what
your responsibilities, like, while you’re
in this space are. So we ask that everybody
is able to, you know, stay focused, ask questions
if you don’t understand, tell us to slow down if we’re, you know, going too fast
or being unclear. Assume that everyone has the best intentions
when they’re speaking and, of course,
to have fun as well. We want this to be a worthwhile
and fun process for everyone. So, moving right along here, we’re talking about what
youth engagement is and so here
at Youth M.O.V.E. National we define youth engagement
as a strategy in which youth are given a meaningful
voice and role at the individual community
and policy-making level, and are authentically involved
in working towards changing the systems that directly
affect their lives. And we think that having a clear
and agreed-upon definition among your community
or your program or your organization
or your project team of what youth engagement
actually is or means to you and also what it will look like
in practice can have, like, a very big impact
on the ways and the strategies that you work
on youth engagement as a team in order to carry out
your mission and vision regarding youth engagement
as a project team. So, one of the first steps
in meaningful youth engagement is recognizing that there is
value added by incorporating, integrating, and encouraging
youth voice. So I think that the bullets
on this slide really just highlight a few
of the many added benefits that come with authentically
engaging young people and really listening
to their voice. So things like changes in institutional culture
and practice, youth voice contributes
to the design and implementation of new polices
that will better serve youth and young adults and builds awareness
and understanding, builds self-efficacy,
and it can really help build a sense of community
and ownership among all the parties
that are involved. And incorporating youth voice throughout the process
of program design or project design
and implementation leads to more effective
programs and services and events and activities,
and therefore will help to lead to better, like, life outcomes
for young people. So, after recognizing
that there is value added by incorporating youth voice, making the commitment
and providing youth with developmentally appropriate
opportunities to share their voice is really
a critical next step for us. On this slide, you can see
a graphic that says, “Exploration, readiness,
planning/the implementation, and sustainability
and quality assurance.” And this is
kind of the continuum that we are hoping to cover
with this webinar series. For exploration,
where is your community or your project team at
in terms of engaging young people right now? And for readiness,
are your team members ready at the individual level? Is your community ready to authentically engage
young people? And for planning
and implementation, do you have a plan
for strategies on youth engagement
within your project team? And for sustainability, have you thought about
how you’re going to continue this youth engagement work
long-term? And now I am going
to hand it off to Johanna. (Johanna)
Awesome, thanks, Hannah. And we’re gonna be exploring these stages
of the four webinar series. So we’ll keep coming back
and discussing the stages that we’re working on. So, you’ve already heard us
say a couple of times the term “youth voice,” and I wanna take
a moment to make sure we have a common understanding of that. So youth voice is the concept
that young people are respected for their ideas and opinions
and are free to state them within an organization
or a program. So those of us on the phone
may have a role in offering youth voice by speaking up
because we identify as a youth or young adult. And to others on the phone,
they have a role in creating space
and then respecting and being open
to young people sharing their ideas and opinions. When we talk about youth voice,
we want to be sure that we understand that we need to be
purposeful and systematic in creating space for it. I always think and want us
to think about youth voice as a two-way street: so what do young people
have to offer and what do we have to accept? So we’ll use the term
youth voice. I would also add that in
our work at Youth M.O.V.E. and our work with the TA Center,
we are specifically working with young people
who have systems experience and so we would add
a list of lived experience to all of the ideas and opinions
that are brought to the table. And that can be so powerful
as we think about our outreach and our engagement
in our efforts and in really designing
and building informal and formal
youth engagement support within our service sector]. Okay, so I’m gonna introduce
the continuum to you and a huge thank you
to Hannah and Amanda for bringing this one
into my work because I appreciate it
so much. Some of you may have heard of the Hart’s ladder
of youth engagement which is a continuum,
but I think it’s really valuable when we talk about
where we are in the ladder
of youth engagement so you might wanna bookmark
that one to check out. This is a different continuum
and definitely coming to us from an education background,
so you’re gonna see all of the examples on the slide talk about a teacher
and a learner, right? So those are how the examples
of this continuum is laid out on this slide. But the application
of this continuum is much broader than that. So, why do I like continuums? Well, generally, we are inclined
to think about forward motion and about continual growth
and striving for success. And then life happens, and it’s
a lot more about back and forth and oftentimes feeling like
you’re at three places on a ladder or a structure,
than being at one place. So I like the idea
of a continuum because we’re going to move
in school across this continuum in our youth engagement work,
right? So if we think about then on the left slide
of your continuum is, you know, teacher-centered,
we might put adult-centered or leader-centered there. And the right side
of this continuum here is learner-driven. We can think about
young adult-driven. And along this continuum,
there is room for youth voice, right, but it looks
different and has a different level of depth. So, I’m gonna read these words
through and I kinda want to ask you a polling question
about them in a second. Okay, so on the left side
of the screen we’re seeing expression. So a young person can,
you know, say, “Hey, I have an opinion. I have the freedom
to express myself,” there may be
some back and forth, some question and answer there. Really, that is the extent
of the youth voice. It’s just expressing, right? We don’t talk a lot
about what happens after they express their idea. As we move to the right,
we see consultation, right? So not only do we
express our input, but we’re sort of asked
to offer feedback. An example,
a tangible example, of consultation is
a survey, right? Have you ever had
a business consult with you about how you thought
of their services, right? A survey is an opportunity
to share your voice. But oftentimes, you put
your voice on that paper and you send it off and that’s the end
of the interaction. As we move along the continuum,
we get to participation. We see young people taking
an active role attending events, participating,
offering their knowledge, their skill sets into the work. As we move even further along
the continuum, like, partnership, right? And so, with partnership
comes a deepening of that give and take,
the back and forth that we have. And the contribution
of young people and their voices and their opinions
and their ideas expands. So an example here
is being able to provide, to participate in planning
of an event. To offer your voice
in the structure and the design of something that’s happening
at your community. And then as we get to the right side
of the continuum and we really think about youth,
young adult-driven work, we find activism
and where a young person not only, you know, not only
wants to express their opinion, but really is driven and has
the opportunity to identify and step into a void,
and say, “Hey, I’ve got some ideas
and I’ve got some solutions. “I think we should really
start listening “to the knowledge that I have
and the experience that I have because I might be on
to something.” And all the way on the right,
leadership. And so, the idea here is a young person
or a group of young people driving and guiding a process
from start to finish, really being seen
as co-creators, co-collaborators. A couple of things to note:
along this continuum, there are always youth and there
are always adults, right? So I think this continuum
blends well into the concept of youth/adult partnerships and that we’re really not trying
to design a system where it’s one or the other,
but instead designing a system where there’s equity
in our voices in the process. Okay, so, you might think–
I’m gonna ask you now to think about where you are
or where your grant initiative and your grant team
on this continuum. Do you regularly ask
young people to consult with you? Do you ask for their input
to come in? Do you regularly participate with young people
as partners, right? And starting
to really collaborate and have contributions
from youth and adults goes into your work and, if you’re like me,
you’re sort of thinking about the fact that you’re doing
a little bit of all of these in different areas of your work,
and that is just fine. We’re gonna explore that
a little bit. So first, I’m gonna make you
pick, again, the best fit. So what phase or what place
in this continuum is best describing your work? And this will be
our third polling question and you’ll have an opportunity
to pick the bubble, so, again, your options are
expression, consultation, participation, partnership,
activism, and leadership. And for those of you
that have worked with me before, either thinking about
your individual leadership or your role as an advocate
in your community, starting with an assessment
of where you are right now, would be–is an important part
in identifying how best we can move forward to be
successful in the future. So this is an opportunity
to say, this is where, you know, an honest reflection of where we
are in our work right now. Okay, Stephanie, you have
a great question, okay. So am I asking
about how you are, okay– Okay, great, so–
and I asked you about how you are engaging and talking with young adults
with lived experience who are hired by our grant or about the one
who we are serving? And, Stephanie, I wanna, like–
the answer’s both, right? So let’s talk for right now about the second part
of your question, Stephanie. So when you’re responding
to this poll, where are you in the stage
of the youth voice continuum in terms of young people
that your grant is serving? Where is their voice
on this continuum? And then your homework
is to take this question back to your team and ask if it’s
both for the young people that are hired and on staff
at the grant as well as those that you are serving. All right, cool,
and we’ve got quite a mix, so this is excellent. So we have people
from consultation to leadership. That is excellent. Okay, so you’re gonna hold
your response with you as we go forward with more content. Hannah and I are gonna hold
your responses as we think about on how best to design future learning opportunities for you. But I’ll pass it over to Hannah
to continue this conversation around where are we now. (Hannah)
Awesome, so I think that this will be probably–
the next couple of slides will be, like,
the most labor-intensive on you all’s part
in terms of participating and we’re hoping that we
can kind of walk through some of these questions together and talk more
about where you are in terms of just basically
assessing readiness for youth engagement
and assessing what’s already going on
in your Healthy Transitions project. And so, the first question
that we have for you is what are the goals
of your team, and, if you don’t know
the goals of your team, or your team doesn’t have,
like, a work plan that has laid out the goals,
that is an okay response too. So I would encourage you all
to un-mute yourself and answer that question
via phone, but if that’s not an option
for you right now, we can also use the chat box
for you all to enter what are the goals
of your Healthy Transitions project team. (Johanna)
Look at– everyone’s figured it out. Look at that, okay. (Lex)
Hello, can you hear me? This is Lex. (Hannah)
Hey, Lex; yes, we can. (Lex)
Hey, I have a question about the question, I guess. So whenever you’re referring
to your team, in my position in Pennsylvania,
there are several teams so there’s, like,
the state team, there’s individual county teams
or all of the lab teams. There are teams of youth
and young adults in each county, you know, there are
advisory teams, like, they all have
advisory teams in each county. So which team? I think there’s a lot of goals
and a lot of teams. (Hannah)
That’s a really good question. Johanna, do you have, like,
do you have good insight on what would be,
like, the most valuable for purposes of, like,
this webinar series, like, which team to talk about? (Johanna)
Yeah, ’cause I wanted to say both, all, and everything,
Lex, c’mon. So, yeah, so let’s,
I think, think about your most nuclear team, Lex. So what’s the group
that’s closest around you? And so, for you, that might be
your sort of state initiative team. And then, as we talk today, think about is there
a need for alignment amongst all of those teams, and thus the separate goals
around youth engagement, right? And could there be a connection
between them? (Lex)
Okay. (Johanna)
And Lex, I know you’re just on the phone with us. Stephanie is chiming
in the chat box and she’s definitely,
it looks like, thinking about her, sort of,
highest level leadership team. So goals in Kentucky are, one,
to enhance the infrastructure that supports young adults
of transition age; two, to promote
public awareness; three, to increase outreach
and engagement; four, to improve access; and five, to develop continuous
and thorough CQI process. And my question to you,
Stephanie, is how is– or is there a component
of youth voice within each of those goals? (Hannah)
And Valerie, it looks like, says that for the local team
providing support for young adults transitioning
into adulthood is a goal. And Stephanie says,
“There is supposed to be, but I feel we have
a lot of room for improvement.” Ebony says, “Educate
500 young adults on HIV through youth peer educators.” Awesome, thanks
for chiming in, guys. I’m gonna leave
that question open for everybody else to chime in
if they want to, whether it’s via chat
or via phone. And so, we’re already
kind of getting into this conversation
about room for improvement, so thank you for bringing that
up, Stephanie. So I guess, switching
the conversation a little bit to first talking
about strengths. What strengths
have you identified in either of your teams
that you can really use to leverage and help you
to accomplish your mission and vision
and the goals of your team. (Johanna)
And Hannah, when you think about the strengths
that your team may have, do you think about
personal skill sets that are brought to the table
or personal passion, or are you thinking about tangible strengths,
like resources? (Hannah)
So I am thinking about both. And I’m also thinking about have members of your team had
youth engagement experience outside of this specific
Healthy Transitions project or team and in what capacity
so, yeah, it could be resources. It could be previous experience
doing youth engagement work. Could be connections
in the community. It could be personal passion. (Johanna)
So one of our strengths, Hannah, between you and I
as facilitators is that, before coming in
to the Youth M.O.V.E. National team, you were a youth coordinator
in a state and the leader
of a Youth M.O.V.E. chapter. And so I really value the opportunity to say,
“That’s right. “Hannah comes with a whole bunch
of experiences “and tools at her disposal “that I should remember,
pretty much on a daily basis, right, to tap into.” (Hannah)
So Stephanie says, “We have a lot of strengths. “One, in particular, that we
have many skilled youth “and young adults
with lived experience “that are passionate,
and some of us very experienced “that are hired
and readily available and dedicated to work
to make our grant successful.” I think that is probably, like,
the greatest strength that you could have is to have
a dedicated team that really wants to see the success
of your project goals. So Ebony says,
“The youth love us. “We have a good track record
building rapport “with youth and young people. “We provide a safe,
non-judgmental atmosphere “and I think I earned
a lot of experience working with youth in health programs.” So I have a question for you,
Ebony, kind of off of that. So, if we’re trying
to, kind of like, connect everybody as peers
on this call and, like, unite, like, what are tips
that you would give the other coordinators
on this call to do that rapport building? Like, how do you create
a space where, you know, you have youth
that are consistent and really wanna be
involved and engaged? I think that that can be
a really difficult barrier to overcome sometimes
’cause young people tend to come and go and when you
actually are able to, like you said, build
that rapport and keep them coming back and have them
fully engaged and authentically engaged, it’s great to be able to learn
from, like, your best practices, like, what you’re doing
that’s working. So if you wanna give
some thought to that and let us know,
that would be awesome. (Ebony Section)
This is Ebony. I was just gonna chime in. (Hannah)
Oh great. (Ebony)
Sorry about the typos. I’m actually multi-tasking so I’m doing
a few things at work. Just to give you all
some background, I’m not funded by the Healthy Transitions
program, but we are funded through SAMHSA
under the HIV Capacity Building, and we target a lot
of minority young adults like African Americans and a lot of them are
homeless or at risk. So some strategies
for us is that, you know, we keep it 100. We are very real
with our young people. We really support their economy
as young people. If they wanna call
their private parts something, we’re gonna educate
them on the proper words, but we really allow
them to be themselves. So we also talk a lot
about sexual health too, so that’s my background. And you have to be reliable. That’s the key thing. You have to stand by your word because it takes a minute
to build trust, but it takes a few seconds
to lose it. So we really try to just,
you know, be real. We try to be relatable. We also try to be reliable
as well when we go into some of these facilities
with these young people that go through some trauma
as well, so that would be my short and sweet tips
I could share. (Hannah)
Awesome. Thank you for chiming in. I think those are awesome tips
and I think you’re absolutely right in saying
that it takes a long time to build trust and, you know,
only a second to break it, and being consistent and being
real is definitely valued by youth and young adults. Valerie says
that some of the strengths that she’s identified,
“get on the same level “as the young adults we serve. “We explore so many options
to engage young adults, “so if a young adult
is disengaging, “we try a different route
to work with them. “Lived experience is what keeps
young adults engaged too, knowing they’re not alone.” Oh, Johanna, I’m just reading
your comments now. I’m not very good at keeping up
with this chat box. But yeah, no, I think
that that’s completely, like, that’s also in of itself
a great tip, Valerie, that, just making sure
to recognize first when a young person’s disengaging and give that some thought
and then, like, try an alternative way of engaging
that young person because we all have different
ways of feeling engaged, and I think sometimes
we give up too soon on somebody who seems
like they’re disinterested, when in reality,
we’re just not reaching them in the way that they
wanna be reached, so trying alternative ways
is always a good tip. So, I guess I also am curious
about knowing if you all have a team mission
and vision and if you, kind of like, base your work off
of that mission and vision or if that was, you know,
written one time and you don’t revisit it and you’re not necessarily
familiar with it. And then also how does your team
work together to form effective
youth/adult partnerships? So two questions for you. And everyone can feel free
to use the chat box and the phone line as well. (Johanna)
This is Johanna and one of the things that I
was just participating in is on a team
that I’m a part of, we were reviewing our mission
and our key goals, and I had the opportunity
to reflect actually very early this morning
on whether the level of youth engagement
that we verbally commit to is seen throughout each
of our goals and within our mission. And I found it really helpful
to just take that quiet moment and that step back
to ask myself those honest
reflection questions, and it caused me
to feel like, “Hm, I really wanna make sure
that we’re putting, you know, “our money where our mouth is,
and I think I need to come back “to my team and ask
some reflection questions to make sure that we really are
on the same page.” And I think we’ve agreed
sort of via email throughout today that we are
on the same page and it feels like it’s
really important to look at our key goals
and make sure that youth engagement
is very clearly identified and youth voice is called out
with specificity within each of the areas
of our work. Ooh, and I have– “We have a team mission
and vision, but I’m not sure if it reflects what we
actually do.” We are really good
at planning, right? Like, humans, us, as everyone
on this phone, making a really great plan,
writing a very great mission. We’re not always so good at holding ourselves accountable
to returning to it. So that can be
a reflection point for you guys to take home today. (Hannah)
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point, Johanna,
and I think that these questions don’t have to stay,
like, on this webinar. I mean, I think these questions
are helpful in having conversations with other people
that are involved in your Healthy Transitions project. And I think my job
at Youth M.O.V.E. National is, like, one of the first times
when I’ve actually become familiar with an organization’s
mission and vision and really seen
how you can side, like, all of your work base
on a mission and vision and so I definitely think
that it’s so important to have a mission
and vision statement and also be familiar with it and, like, be able to go back
to it and revise it to make it accurate and reflect what you’re actually
doing, as Ebony says. So Stephanie says,
“Our mission and vision “was recently developed “by our state grant
management team, “which includes local labs. “We developed it
more for marketing “and less to build
our initiatives around. “Our goals were developed first. “But I think our mission
and vision “reflect the grant goals. “We could honestly do
a better job of incorporating it
into our work.” Yeah, that’s in totally–
I think that that’s what I always thought, Stephanie,
is that, like, people had a mission and vision statement
for marketing purposes, and then I came
to Youth M.O.V.E. and it’s a lot different. It really does guide the work
that we do and we really do revisit it and say,
like, “Does this reflect “what we’re doing
and should we change “our goals for this year
based on revisiting “this mission and vision
statement and saying, like, “‘Is this still how we want
to identify our organization? “‘And then is our work
accurately reflecting that that is
our mission and vision?'” (Lex)
I just had a question for Stephanie, this is Lex. What was the process
behind building that mission and vision,
’cause I know in Pennsylvania we don’t have–
we have goals similar to the ones that you named. We have set goals
and, you know, I’m on the turnpike right now so I’m not gonna, like, recite
them because I don’t have them in front of me,
but we’re doing some, like, what I think this all
strategic planning, but just some planning
for year three and the remainder of the grant,
and beyond at this point, for Pennsylvania and that’s
one thing that we don’t have: mission and vision. So I’m wondering, like,
what was the process that you used–around building
that for your group? (Hannah)
I’m just gonna finish reading Stephanie’s typing. So, we are still in the works
of developing youth-adult partnerships–
I’m sorry. And so Stephanie says,
“Hey, Lex. “We kind of brainstormed,
using giant sticky pads “of what we do
and what we wanna do for the youth we are serving.” That’s an awesome process
and Youth M.O.V.E. National has probably, like, done
its fair share of damage with sticky notes
and sticky pads, all over a room,
I recall, Johanna, actually many rooms,
at this point, we’ve covered in sticky notes to have
that type of conversation. I think that can be
really helpful, especially for visual people
like me. (Johanna)
And Lex, I know you can’t see the slide, so when you have
a chance to look at them, when we think
about those four stages that Hannah introduced early on, if we think with an eye
to sustainability which is the, you know,
the “final stage,” in quotes, in the progression. If we think about sustainability from the beginning
of initiative, we can ask ourselves questions
like are we planning and are we creating
a plan and goals and a mission and vision
for an initiative? Or are we creating
a mission and some goals for something that we
want to last beyond whatever our current
funding initiative is? And so, I know that you
have some peers amongst these coordinators
who have participated in mission and vision rating, you know, across the vision
within their state, rather than just having a mission and vision
for Healthy Transitions. So Healthy Transition goals can feed up to a larger
mission and vision. But that’s not right
for everybody, right? But what I’d recommend
is that you take some time thinking about, you know,
when we ask you the question, what are you sustaining or what are you planning
to sustain, your answer to that can provide
some guidance about what you should be planning now. Does that make sense? (Lex)
Yeah, totally. (Hannah)
And Stephanie has also talked about–she says,
“We then turned those things “into a mission
and vision statement and agreed on the final wording
as a team.” So that was part of her process. And so my last question about effective youth-adult
partnerships, I think that we
sort of have touched on a couple of, like,
best practices just in terms of, you know,
being consistent and being reliable
and keeping it real and trying different ways
of engagement when a young person
is notably disengaged. So, the slide
that we were just on, we were really talking
about where are you now, and now we, kind of, are
curious to pick your brains about where you want to be. And if you have individual goals
for your HT project and if those are not goals
that you wanna share with us, we’re also curious
about the team goals for the future
of your HT project, so maybe stuff that you’re not
taking on right now and it’s gonna be,
like, a gradual process, but just thinking
about the future and what that looks like
and it’s totally, like, normal to have individual goals
and then also team goals and them not necessarily be
exactly in alignment, I guess. (Lex)
This is Lex. One of the goals
for our statewide team, but more specifically, my goal
being youth coordinator my role is that this year,
starting to build a network of youth
and young adults from the three communities
that we work with. They are not near each other, so we’re trying to become
creative in how to work on– we wanna have three deliverables
and three projects at the end of the grant
that these young people have worked on together,
so we’re starting by our meeting with them all at our yearly site visits
in April face to face, but the three groups
of youth and young adults in the three communities
but similar to the kind of community
that’s been built with the national youth coordinators,
we wanna do that at the state level and really
have to be able to connect with one another
in that kind of same way for peer learning and sharing
and building off of each other, communities, but also, you know, their personal strengths
and stories and experiences, so there’s lots of goals, but that’s the main one
for me right now. (Hannah)
Awesome. Does anybody else have
any individual goals for the–
their HT project? (Ebony)
Hey, this is Ebony. Unfortunately, we don’t have
any individual or team goals. A lot of our goals right now are very technical
and grant-specific like test this amount of people,
educate this amount of people. And I would love to make
some individual and team goals that are a lot more inspiring,
if you know what I mean? That can really pull
on our heartstrings to keep us motivated and guide our work as, you know, we continue
doing what we’re doing. So I appreciate this activity
because I wanna bring this back to my team and have us kind of do, like,
a brainstorming around individual or team goals. (Hannah)
That’s awesome. And I think–
so Youth M.O.V.E. National has a template that we created
on youth engagement projects. And it’s very, like,
bare minimum, but I think that it incorporates
a lot of these questions, and I think it is so important
to look at this activity as something that you
can bring back to your team and your project because
probably not everybody that is involved in your work
is on this call with you, and it is important
to have goals in language that is inspiring
and maybe not so grant-written. (Ebony)
Mm-hmm, thank you. (Johanna)
And I saw that–this is Johanna. And, Hannah,
you’ve challenged me in this and caused me to grow,
I think, quite a bit. I’ve come to realize
how valuable it is for those of us that entered
this work through our lived experience
that our passion has been our driving force for so long,
and we don’t want to somehow lose that
within our future’s work. So if you have an opportunity
to help facilitate and promote and support your co-workers and other youth leaders
in your work to have those individual
passion-filled goals and then to help them
provide connection between that individual goal and the goal
of your overall initiative, you’re supporting
the sustainability and the longevity
of your work in the long run in that sort of day-to-day support for setting and sharing
those individual goals. Hannah, I’m looking at the clock
and knowing that we’ve got a lot of other things
to share today. What do you think about giving the next couple of slide
questions to everyone as some homework? (Hannah)
Yeah, I think that’s a great idea, for sure. (Johanna)
‘Cause I feel like every question, yeah,
I want people to really spend a few minutes responding to. (Hannah)
Yeah, definitely, so I’ll just read them out loud,
Johanna, and then we’ll keep going on
through the material. But the question
that she’s referring to is what strengths
can you draw from as you think about
your future project goals? So, as we talked about before,
strength being maybe resources, maybe previous experience, maybe connections
in your community. And then also what challenge
or barrier has hindered you from reaching your ultimate Healthy Transitions
project goal? So really giving some thought
to things that have come up in your work
that have been challenging and maybe making it
more difficult and thinking about
solutions to those challenges and how you can use
your strengths to overcome these barriers and challenges
in your work. And now over to Johanna. (Johanna)
Okay, awesome. So I’m gonna talk
a little bit more about some specifics
of youth leadership and youth engagement
to send you home with some tangible
things to think about. So, people are always asking what does youth engagement
look like, right? And youth engagement can look
like so many different things, we can’t put it all
on a slide, right? So I–you know, here I’ll think
just about a couple of ways that we can engage youth
in our work, right? So young people are
amazing facilitators. Facilitators of planning processes, facilitating training,
facilitating meetings. I love the energy
and the innovation that comes when young people get to set
an agenda and lead a meeting, and encourage you
to think about, you know, how there can be additional opportunities
for youth to take those leadership roles
in your community. Young people ask
really good questions, right, especially if you’ve,
sort of, been there, done that. What do you really wanna know
about services and supports? What sort of questions
do young people– can young people develop
about, you know, why does something work and why does another
outreach tactic not work? Those folks that are asking why, make excellent researchers, right? And so it’s really exciting
within our chapter networks to see young people,
sort of, to step into implementation roles
in saying, “Let’s look up what we’re doing and find out
why it’s working.” Young people can plan
and organize around the ideas that they bring to the table. Young people should be
empowered in every way in being decision-makers. So young people have more–
can have so much more potential than just serving
as an advisor to a process. Advisors are valuable
and important and contribute great things to our work,
and yet we also know we need a lot of doers and thinkers
and leaders as well, and we wanna see young people
in all of those roles. And when you build infrastructure
around your initiative or your program or within a service setting,
you wanna build that infrastructure with chairs
at tables that make leadership decisions
that are saved, especially for young people,
and then we wanna provide the support to young people
to make sure that there is always youth voice
represented in those chairs. Young people make
great evaluators. If you stick with us
and join us in the coming sessions,
we’re gonna talk about CQI processes
and how to improve the work we’re doing
and how youth can lead that. And young people have
such unique experiences and areas of expertise
based on the lives that we’ve lived and we
wanna create space for young people to come
to the table as experts and as specialists in areas. And the list
can go on, actually. I feel like we keep adding words
and roles to this list and I’m, you know,
if we’re missing something on this slide,
please make sure you chat it into the chat box
so we can keep adding to it. Okay, so really quickly, sort of key best practices
to think about. You guys
have already said it, right? Be real. Young people will call you
on being inauthentic faster than they can say,
“Hi, bye,” right? So if you are like me and you
are not cool and hip and you don’t know any TV actor’s names
and you’ve never watched the Grammys or the Emmys
or you don’t know what they are, I can’t pretend
that I care about that, right? I need to be real and honor
the expertise that young people who are interested
in that might have and hopefully learn
a little bit from them. But I don’t need to pretend
to be like them in order to build
a collaborative relationship, right? I need to be me. And I need to let every young person
I engage with be themselves, right? So keeping it real is
sort of where we’re at. But Hannah and I also put
our heads together and we wanted to say a couple more things to you. We need to create opportunity. I think, in fact, we have
the obligation to create opportunity for youth voice
to infuse our work. And we also need to understand that we may desperately want
youth engagement, but every youth leader
and advocate who is joining
the work in with us is also balancing
a really full life and so we wanna make sure
that we provide not only more work
for young people, but also opportunities
for them to learn, to find value in what we do,
and to have a little bit of fun. Pizza party does not equal
youth engagement. But it’s sort of fun to have
pizza when you’re doing youth engagement, right? So use pizza as your metaphor
for fun and make sure it’s involved in what you do. We wanna make sure
that for every opportunity we offer for young people
in our communities, that turns out that they
are helping us, that we give them
something back. So, as much time as we spend
planning to bring young people to the table and ways to ask
for their consultation and their input and ask them
to be collaborators, we need to spend
an equal amount of time asking ourselves
what are we giving to them? What sort of training
and skill-building are we offering? Are we helping them network
and grow their professional network? Are we helping them
build positive social skills? Are we helping them
find hope for the future? We have an obligation
to make sure that young people can track where their voice
and input went, right? So if we send you
a full bunch of surveys with the opinions and thoughts
of 100 young people by the end of a conference, how do we publicly turn around
and say, “Hey, you guys, “we heard you,
and this is what we’re doing with your youth voice.” And we need to not make
assumptions about the fact that the way we communicate is the right way
to communicate, right? We used to have some pause
in our work and to think about what is the best way
to communicate with young people that are
coming into our space. And you can start by asking
yourself how do you wanna be communicated with, right? And, you know,
I’m not a betting person, but if I was, I might think
that you don’t wanna get 28 emails full of attachments
and lengthy documents to read before you show up
at a meeting, right? And maybe some alternative ways
to access that information to prepare for an event. Other things that we
really need to think about: we need to compensate
young people for the value and the expertise
that they bring to our table. In a moment,
when I’m not talking, I’ll throw a resource
into the chat box for you guys if you wanna dig
into that one a little bit more. We need to think about
the opportunities we get for young people to lead,
to be a part of the events that we’re planning, to co-facilitate,
to co-convene with us. We need to be realistic about
the fact that engagement and youth voice takes time,
energy, and resources. And we should create a plan
that allows for that, right? We need to make time
to help young people deepen their investment
and really answer that question of why am I involved? Why would I want to be involved? And I have three questions
that I ask everybody when they’re starting out
or revisiting and assessing where they are
in youth engagement. And so there are
three questions I’ll leave for you guys as homework. How are youth and young adults participating and engaged
in fun, right? Because without fun, there’s–
I have found, there’s not going to be
effective sustainability of those youth
and young adults’ participation. And it should be fun
for everybody involved, right? The second question is
do young people recognize and understand
the value of their work within your project? Do you say,
“Thank you” enough, right? Do you remind them continuously
of the value that they bring and show through your actions
and your follow-up the value you see
in their voice? And the third question is
do you provide opportunities for young adults to see
the impact of their youth voice? When they go home, can they
say, “I know I was heard today because A, B, and C happened.” Those are my three questions for anyone engaging
young people, no matter what stage
of implementation you’re in. And Hannah,
I’ll pass it back to you. (Hannah)
Awesome. I am keeping an eye
on the time again and just gonna roll through
these next couple of slides because we have
a couple more polling questions for you all and that
will kind of help us to form the rest of the webinar series
a little bit more because we just wanna make sure
that it’s meeting your needs and you’re not getting
information that you already have. So we have a couple of questions
that I think we’ll give as homework for you all
to keep thinking about. But just talk–or reflecting
on what has been the most successful
in your project planning and implementation phases. And when you ask yourself
that question, it’s easy to just come up
with an answer, like, what’s been done the best? But I think it’s also
really important to think about how you know
it’s successful. Like, what made it successful? And how can you use the strategy
that made it successful for other purposes
in your project to make other things
just as successful? So, if you moved the time
of an activity or a meeting or a phone call to later
and more people attended it, then maybe planning more things
at that time would be, like, a better way
to be engaging young people. So just giving some thought
to what is working and how you can use the strategies
behind the successful– whether it’s an event
or a meeting or an activity or just, like, the way
the team’s getting along, how you can use that approach
in other areas of your project, planning and implementation phases. And also talking
about challenges, thinking more deeply about
things that have come up during your project planning,
implementation phases, that have been difficult
or barriers and then thinking about, again, strategies
and approaches that your team could use to try to overcome
these challenges and move forward. And potentially,
using the strategies that were successful
in a different area of the project to overcome
these challenges, and also trying to draw
from the strengths and other resources
that you can leverage based on what you
identify as a team are your strengths. And now I’m gonna hand it over
to Johanna to start us off on some polling questions. (Johanna)
I’m like the queen of the polling questions, Hannah. How did we get this to happen? Okay, polling question number four. We’re gonna ask you
to help us prioritize what we’re gonna do next,
and so we’re going to ask you to select the topic
in this category that you are most interested
in learning about. We love talking
about all of these things, so there’s a high chance
we’ll touch on them, but we wanna hear
if there’s something of particular importance for you. The four topics on the screen
right now are youth-guided practices,
creating logic models, readiness assessments,
and community resource mapping. And we’ll give you
30 more seconds to respond to this polling question. All right, so split a little bit, but a strong vote
for youth-guided practices. Great.
Okay, so we’ll close this poll. All right,
and the next polling question we’re gonna ask you which of these four topics
in the category, “Outreach, collaboration,
and communication” are you most interested in. And they include
recruitment plans, retention plans,
social marketing plans, and mission
and vision statements. So all of these are in relation
to outreach and connection, communicating with young adults. So if you have a preference
for most interesting topic from this list,
we’d love to hear it. And your voice can be heard
by clicking on the little bubble. And just a few more seconds
to wrap up this question. And then there’s
just one more polling question so stick with us. Okay, we’ve got a lot of people
interested in retention plans. I’m gonna click follow up
with recruitment plans. Some of you like, say, about
mission and vision statements. Okay, very helpful. And our last polling question,
again, same style. So we’re gonna ask you to select
the topic within the category of “Sustaining and Evaluating”
that’s most interesting to you. And the options are
sustainability plans; continuous quality improvement,
or CQI, processes; evaluation
of youth-driven practice; or evaluation of programs. And so within the topic
of “Sustaining and Evaluating,” if you have a most interesting topic,
go ahead and click that bubble. All right, and a lot of interest in evaluation of youth-driven
practice, some CQI. Okay, excellent. So Hannah and I will be using
those to finalize our plans for the next learning series,
and we’re really hoping that you’ll be joining us
on those, as we leave you
with a couple of questions. The first is, you know,
what assistance do you need to perform in your role,
to improve your performance, to increase
your youth engagement? But I really wanna leave you with a thought
about your takeaway for today. So based on our conversations
and reflection today, what are your project strengths? And totally take out
a post-it note and write those down. And then thinking
about our discussion today and about goal-setting,
both individually and as a team, what are your goals for growth
and improvement in the future? And we want you to bring those–
take those back home with you, with your work
and also bring them back to our future discussions,
and that next discussion will be Wednesday, April 19,
the same time, same place. Hannah was brave and shared
her contact information so totally ask her
all the questions. And I’m really glad you guys
could hang out with us today. We’ve shared some resources
in the chat box. We’re working behind the scenes
already to get those all in one place for you. Please feel free to invite
your colleagues if you think someone
in your community would benefit
from joining in the Youth Voice and Leadership
series discussion. And make sure that you reach out
to us or your other members of your TA team if you have
questions in between time. So thanks, everybody. (female)
Thanks, Hannah and Alex– Nicole–or, Joanne, thank you. (Hannah)
Thank you.

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