10 Positive Youth Development Activities for Growth
By: Mike Emeruwa
Positive youth development activities are essential to today’s generation.
Youth today aim to be more agile in life.
In other words, for kids to navigate through the dreaded adulthood, they must prepare themselves for the reality that comes with the future.
As years go by, society advances in all spheres, and our generation is more advanced than ever, leaving those who fail to push forward in the dust.
Saying this is not to frighten you. It is merely to motivate.
By preparing yourself socially, emotionally, physically, educationally, ethically, and most importantly, technologically at a young age, you prime yourself to harness your potential. More often than not, this is the decider between a successful future and an average one.
Positive youth development involves integrating relationships between youth and their family, peers, groups, schools, workplace, community, government institutions, society, and culture.
What are Youth Development activities?
Simple. Youth Development activities are a set of pursuits that a child or adolescent undergoes to garner abilities, competencies, and skills necessary to flourish throughout life.
Here’s another definition.
Youth development involves the willingness of children and adolescents to meet a certain physical, developmental and social standard that builds the competencies needed to become successful adults.
Long story short,
Youth development activities are things kids do to make themselves successful and satisfied in life like Warren Buffet, LeBron James, Barack Obama, and Kamala Harris of the future.
Evidently, I for one wouldn’t mind being Kamala Harris when I grow up.
So, what are the skills I need to have to be just like my hero Kamala?
Easy, just keep reading.
Here are a few youth development activities that guarantee growth
There are a thousand and one ways to improve yourself for the future, understanding that improvement comes in different forms – physical, cognitive, ethical, emotional, and educational – is a great start.
- Participating in sports activities
Engaging in sports activities is a sure-fire way to gain solid future skills. Being part of a team is the first way a child gains skills like teamwork, discipline, leadership, organization skills, commitment, and physical fitness.
Decorated athlete LeBron James can attest that being on a sports team at a young age gave him the skills above. Thereby making him the symbol he is today. Contrary to other opinions, sports participation does not only help kids who wish to be future athletes.
It is very much as crucial for everyone else.
- Community service
Community service involves giving back to one’s immediate community.
How does one give back to the community?
Sanitation is one way. This involves consciously cleaning your environment by picking up litter, cleaning unsanctioned graffiti, and more. Plus, it enlightens us to the dangers of an unloved ecosystem.
Also, giving food, clothing, and other things to the less privileged builds selflessness. And in turn, it produces better humans for the future.
- Work Experience
Taking up internships, volunteering, summer employment, and shadowing roles is a great way to improve yourself educationally. Participation in any form of employment mentioned above is a great way to build a definite essential skill for the future. In the same vein, these jobs give you real-life working experience that is invaluable as an adult.
- Taking Virtual/Online courses
Although virtual/Online learning is a relatively new youth development activity but is essential all the same. Online educational platforms provide valuable courses and skills to the globe.
- Big Brother and Big Sister Programs
These programs are the most exciting for me. The Big Brother and Big Sister programs teach young men and women to be outstanding members of society by teaching them courtesy, etiquette, composure, and grace. Plus, the kids dress up in cute tuxedos and dresses.
- Mentoring Programs
Mentoring programs are subcategories to work experience. Here kids have the opportunity to connect with mentors one-on-one. They get to shadow their mentors. Do what they do. See what they see. Hear what they hear. It serves as good exposure for young people to feel what it is like in the shoes of their mentors firsthand.
- Youth Groups and Camps
Youth groups and clubs are significant to the psychological and physical wellbeing of a child. These gatherings build several values that prepare a child for socializing, leadership roles, and these groups create a sense of belonging. These clubs serve as a support system for kids beyond their homes.
- School Extracurricular activities
Most Schools provide extracurricular activities for kids. They create clubs that expand on the debate, science, math, chess, drama, etc. Participating in extracurricular activities gives children a break from a rigorous study pattern and invest their energies into energetic and productive activities.
- Participating in Politics at the Local level
Involving in the decision-making process of your small council could trigger hidden leadership aspirations and the need to do good. The world can never have enough future leaders – youth as the future of a developing country should actively take part in politics and social contributions.
- Read a Book!
Readers are leaders. There’s no debating that. Evidence shows that the more you read, the more you grow. And history’s greatest leaders know all sorts of stuff. Books on leadership, literature, psychology, motivation, decision-making and influencing are all necessities if you want to grow into a good leader.
Becoming a future leader or a valuable follower is no easy feat. The above activities need to be a big part of your youth life if you intend to be a success.
Are you worried your kid might not be a “kid” anymore with all these activities?
I get it.
I understand that youth development activities might seem overwhelming at first, but the experienced counsellors who supervise the activities make sure no child is under pressure, bored, or left behind. They make sure these activities are educational, enjoyable, and fun-filled.