Building Empowered Youth Leaders

The heart of Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project (YTP) is our trainers—the current and former foster youth (ages 16-24), selected each year through a demanding application process, to fill ten youth trainer positions. Once selected, the new trainers participate in our Leadership Institute, an intensive four-day program that prepares youth to develop and deliver YTP trainings for child welfare professionals.

The Leadership Institute curriculum focuses on communication, facilitation, organizational, and professional development skills—but it’s so much more than that. Based on a model of youth empowerment and resiliency, YTP’s Leadership Institute is a place where youth begin to realize a sense of confidence and competence—the first step to imagining and making real their own goals for education and career.

Here’s one youth trainee’s report on the Leadership Institute:

“I’ve developed new skills. I’ve learned how to do chart writing, facilitation, how to paraphrase, mirror, how to stack people, how to dress. I’ve learned how to talk with people who may not be as open to the information. I’ve learned how to keep people engaged, how not to lose your temper, and how to share your personal story.”

If you are interested in becoming a youth trainer, click here.