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What Communities Can Do

Individuals and organizations in a community can play a role in ensuring that adolescents have the chance to realize their potential. Collaboration among a range of stakeholders within a community provides more opportunities to encourage positive youth development (PYD). Community stakeholders can include elected officials, law enforcement personnel, members of the media, business leaders, educators, faith leaders, community-based program leaders, parents, and young people themselves.   

Youth Engagement

Communities can access several tools to encourage positive youth development approaches. It is important that communities involve adolescents in state, regional, and local efforts and in decisions that affect adolescents’ lives. Communities can lay a foundation for successful PYD efforts with a range of youth engagement strategies; these include youth councils or governing boards and youth service and leadership efforts. 

Effective Community-Wide Programs 

Communities can learn from each other what has been effective in supporting youth. Two examples of evidence-based community strengthening programs, Communities that Care (CTC) and Promoting School-Community-University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER), work with existing programs to incorporate PYD principles such as building relationships with adults, setting goals, engaging with family and community, and focusing on finding strengths and building skills. Both programs aim to create communities where different sectors help foster a positive environment for youth.

Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on May 13, 2019