Youth Empowerment Model
The Youth Empowerment Model is the founding philosophy for the creation of the North Carolina Teen Health Alliance (NCTHA), the acting statewide youth council that operates under the North Carolina School Community Health Alliance (NCSCHA). The Youth Empowerment Model is based on the goals of helping youth realize their full potential and become agents of social change in their communities. It is built around three components:
- Skill Development
- Critical Awareness
In selecting the members of its youth council, NCSCHA tries to find “spark plugs”: youth with the potential energy, personality and initiative to be successful leaders of grassroots change in their local communities. A weekend retreat is held for these future youth leaders to begin to develop the skills that are critical to their new roles. During the retreat, fun and interactive trainings tailored for teens are held on leadership, team work, talking to the media, and community organization and mobilization.
At the completion of these trainings, the youth create projects to implement in their own hometowns and high schools and are charged to organize specific steps to make the project a reality. NCSCHA also provides a modest amount of seed money which the teens are encouraged to enlarge by leveraging community connections.
Empowered with knowledge, the support of their individual adult coaches and the entire staff at NCSCHA, these young people return home to recruit a team of peers to assist in the project they have created and lay the groundwork for concrete, community level change. Please see the Achievements page for the amazing results.
For more information on the Youth Empowerment Model and how NCSCHA and NCTHA are using it to create real change across the state of North Carolina, please view this PowerPoint Presentation given by the NCTHA leader Parrish Ravelli or contact us with your questions or comments. If you would like to learn about other organizations using the Youth Empowerment Model in North Carolina, go to www.youthempoweredsolutions.org and www.questionwhy.org.