For the last 20 years youth development programs across the country have increased dramatically from when I was a teen. Today’s youth are developing their skills with a deeper curriculum than back in my day. In my town of Sacramento, Sol Collective offers community engagement mentorship, and UCDavis’ Extension’s Sacramento Area Youth Speaks are preparing the next generation of empowered citizens. These are just two of the many programs designed to provide exactly what young people want – safe places to go, grow, learn and work with caring adults and peers to develop the skills to contribute to the larger work of society.

Leadership training and development really never stops. So, if you are farther along in your civic and professional life there are some excellent leadership development programs and countless volunteer opportunities. The Metro Chamber’s Leadership Sacramento, several university programs as well as the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders program provide excellent training and community involvement. In the articles below you’ll find some good information on the kind of programs that may be available in your area.

How do you exercise your autonomy? What action would you like to take to contribute to making the world a better place? And, you might look around. Without a doubt there is a young person who could use some encouragement finding their voice.