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From Classroom to Community: The Importance of Engaging Youth in Social Impact

Jul 2, 2023 | Articles

Dr Kennedy Obohwemu
Impactful youth

The youth of today are more connected, informed, and empowered than ever before. They are also facing a world with a growing number of social challenges, from climate change to poverty to inequality. In this context, it is more important than ever to engage youth in social impact initiatives.

Benefits of Engaging Youth in Social Impact

There are many benefits to engaging youth in social impact. Some of the most important include:

  • Fostering a sense of purpose and empowerment: When young people see that they can make a difference in the world, it can give them a sense of purpose and empowerment. This can lead to increased self-confidence, motivation, and resilience.
  • Bridging classroom learning with real-world application: Social impact initiatives can help young people apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-world problems. This can make learning more meaningful and engaging, and it can also help young people develop the skills they need to be successful in college and beyond.
  • Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Social impact initiatives can help young people develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When they are faced with real-world challenges, they need to be able to think critically about the situation, identify the problems, and develop solutions. This can be a valuable learning experience that can help them in all areas of their lives.
  • Building empathy and social awareness: Social impact initiatives can help young people build empathy and social awareness. When they work with people from different backgrounds and experiences, they can learn to appreciate different perspectives and understand the challenges that others face. This can lead to increased compassion and understanding, and it can also make young people more engaged citizens.
  • Encouraging collaboration and community engagement: Social impact initiatives can encourage collaboration and community engagement. When young people work together to solve problems, they learn to build relationships, communicate effectively, and work as a team. This can be a valuable experience that can help them in their personal and professional lives. It can also help them feel more connected to their community and more invested in its well-being.

Strategies for Engaging Youth in Social Impact

There are many ways to engage youth in social impact. Some of the most effective strategies include:

  • Incorporate service-learning into the curriculum: Service-learning is a teaching method that combines classroom instruction with community service. This can be a great way to give young people hands-on experience with social impact work and to help them see how their learning can make a difference in the world.
  • Create youth-led initiatives: When young people are given the opportunity to lead their own social impact initiatives, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This can be done by providing them with resources, support, and mentorship.
  • Establish partnerships with community organizations: Community organizations can provide young people with access to resources, networks, and expertise. They can also help young people connect with other youth who are interested in social impact work.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance: Mentorship can be a valuable resource for young people who are interested in social impact work. Mentors can provide guidance, support, and encouragement. They can also help young people develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.
  • Promote youth voice and advocacy: Young people have a powerful voice, and it is important to give them opportunities to use their voice to advocate for change. This can be done by providing them with platforms to share their stories and perspectives, and by supporting them in their efforts to make a difference.

Some Real-Life Examples

There are many examples of young people who are engaging in social impact work. Some of these examples include:

  • Youth-led environmental initiatives: Many young people are working to address environmental challenges, such as climate change, pollution, and deforestation. For example, the organization Earth Guardians is led by youth activists who are working to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote solutions.
  • Social entrepreneurship ventures: Young people are also starting social entrepreneurship ventures to address social challenges. For example, the organization Girl Up is a social enterprise that provides educational and leadership opportunities for girls around the world.
  • Global youth movements: Young people are also mobilizing to demand change on a global scale. For example, the Fridays for Future movement is a youth-led movement that is calling for action on climate change.

In all…

Engaging youth in social impact is essential for building a better future. When young people are given the opportunity to make a difference, they are more likely to become engaged citizens and to lead positive change in the world. It is our responsibility to create opportunities for youth engagement in social impact and to support them in their efforts to make a difference.

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