Enfield, Connecticut / “Youth development programs help youth navigate adolescence in healthy ways and prepare them for their future by fostering their positive development,” Tandfonline.com. For these reasons, Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut shares his wealth of experience in youth development to make a youth program great.
1. Provide loads of opportunities for youth development
Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut explains that one of the 6 C’s of youth development is competence in all aspects of life, including social, academic, and vocational. As a result, an effective youth development program (YDP) should let tweens and teens participate in leadership roles.
There’s an overused phrase saying young people are the leaders of tomorrow, but if a YPD doesn’t train the older kids to be leaders today, they can’t take up leadership responsibilities in the future. Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut advises that young people need to be involved front and center in leading activities, decision-making, and making programs successful.
When tweens and teens are steeped in guided leadership roles, they can learn to handle challenges in the real world, communicate, and partner with others they don’t often interact with, adds Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut.
2. Get to know the youth
Another ‘C’ of a YPD is care and compassion; because of this, as youth directors or staff, you need to show that you’re interested in the older kids. According to Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut, you should step out of your comfort zone and reach out to them.
As Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut notes, whatever youth program you create needs to have a structure fostering communication between you and the older kids. Tweens and teens would prefer an environment promoting mutual respect and learning. They want to see you taking time to understand their thoughts, fears, ideas, interests, challenges, etc. A listening ear is all that they’re asking for.
3. Let your YPD encourage friendships
Healthy YPD activities keep this in mind: young people want to build peer friendships and relationships. According to Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut, opportunities that let older kids make friends may lead to positive self-worth and self-esteem.
If the young people flock to your YPD through referrals by other kids, it shows your programs are helping them. Another pro side of friendships is that tweens and teens can motivate each other to try new things.
Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut is the Founding Director of A.C.E. Youth Project, Inc. pioneering STEM program began in 3 schools in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2014. The aim is to create a talent “Pipeline” of STEM and to end the “Exposure Divide” that Black and Brown students have to careers in STEM. A leader of note with vast experience in management and youth development, and education, Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut is central in developing and managing business plans and fundraising strategies for the YPD. With his teamwork and organizational skills, Damian Humphrey of Enfield Connecticut works with teachers, parents, and students to improve educational outcomes and opportunities.