In order for youth to be prepared to work in partnership with adults, they need to develop and/or enhance their leadership skills. Leadership training prepares youth to manage time, work as a team, set goals, start conversations, facilitate meetings, and make effective presentations. Promoting youth leadership development is a great way to promote positive life skills learning. To fully participate with adults, youth also need to be informed about the adult perspective of the problem, challenge or issue being discussed: the jargon that adults use to describe their work; and strategies for approaching the work. In other words, we need to be sure the field is level for all of the players.
Youth development is a process that prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences that help them to become socially, morally, emotionally, physically, and cognitively competent. Youth leadership is an important part of the youth development process. Youth leadership is both an internal and an external process leading to (1) the ability to guide or direct others on a course of action, influence their opinion and behaviour, and show the way by going in advance; and (2) the ability to analyze one’s own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, and have the self-esteem to carry them out.