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August 2018: Engaging Adolescents for Better Health Outcomes

Youth engagement yields multiple benefits to youth. That’s why one of the Five Essentials for Healthy Adolescents identified in the national call to action, Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG), encourages stakeholders working with adolescents to provide more opportunities for them to engage as learners, leaders, team members, and workers. Launched by the HHS Office of Adolescent Health to promote adolescent health and healthy development, TAG identifies actions to meaningfully engage youth for professionals working in a variety of settings, including school clubs, out-of-school time programs, volunteer or paid jobs, and activities in the community or at places of worship.

Opportunities to be actively involved in shaping programs help adolescents gain valuable leadership skills and build confidence, while also improving the programs to better serve their needs. The TAG Game Plan for Engaging Youth outlines principles of successful youth engagement, as well as tips and approaches for professionals to use when working with youth to foster their health, leadership, and learning. Successful approaches include: 

  • Youth councils 
  • Youth governance  
  • Youth serving on boards  
  • Youth voice
  • Youth leadership programs 
  • Youth advocacy 
  • Youth service 
  • Youth organizing 

Research Highlights: Providing Opportunities for Youth to Engage Actively in Programs

OAH reviewed research studies on ten models of fostering youth engagement. For more information, see the OAH research review on opportunities for teens to engage as learners, leaders, team members, and workers.

Did You Know?

Youth who participate in service projects tend to feel more community connections and are less likely to engage in risky behavior than other youth. They have higher self-esteem and greater academic success, and also are more likely to find employment.

ORISE Fellowship Opportunity at OAH

There are two openings in the Office of Adolescent Health for fellowship positions administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Qualified applicants must have earned a master’s degree or higher in the last 60 months. Learn more on the OAH website.

Spread the Word with These Posts

  • A #TeenHealth essential: Opportunities to engage as learners, leaders, team members, and workers. http://1.usa.gov/1SDiI8w #TAG42Mil
  • Want to help adolescents grow into healthy adults? Engage them. Join #TAG42Mil. http://1.usa.gov/1zR019X  
  • Get in the game! See the TAG Game Plan for Engaging Youth for specific ways that youth-serving professionals can engage adolescents to promote their health and healthy development. https://bit.ly/2nLgRr3 #TAG42Mil
Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on August 21, 2018