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Specialty topics


Developing leadership skills involves building civic and social responsibilities. This section includes research, curriculum and resources for involving youth in their communities, such as service learning.


  • Dr. Bernadette Sanchez

    The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Mentoring Relationships
    Dr. Bernadette Sanchez

    An overview of research about the effects of gender, age, ethnicity and culture on mentoring. Sanchez provides examples of how these factors may have different influences on outcomes for specific groups of youth. 2007.

  • Dr. Margaret Wheatley

    Reweave the World: Investing in Tomorrow's Leadership
    Dr. Margaret Wheatley

    Noted author and international figure in leadership, Dr. Margaret Wheatley speaks about what it takes to be a leader in the 21st century and challenges us to rethink the ways Minnesota seeks to reach, connect and engage youth. 2007.

Reports & articles

Youth Work is professionalizing! (PDF)
Produced by Extension: Margo Herman
Afterschool Today
Journal article about noteworthy growth in youth development making youth work a recognized field. 2013

Reflective Practice Meets Youth Work Supervision (PDF)
Produced by Extension: Margo Herman
Youth and Policy
This article identifies the concepts of reflective practice, critical inquiry and action research, then proposes a framework for reflective supervisory practice in a youth work context, and analyzes the benefits of this approach. 2012

Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning (PDF)
Kyla Wahlstrom, Karen Seashore Louis, Kenneth Leithwood, Stephen E. Anderson
The framework for this study represents the assumptions about aspects of the larger school system, including leadership at several levels, which interact to influence student learning. 2010

Shining a Light on Supervision: Lessons from the Beacons (PDF)
The Forum for Youth Investment
This commentary takes readers inside the world of the Beacons, to understand their approach to supervision. 2010

Citizenship education in England 2001-2010: young people's practices and prospects for the future: the eighth and final report from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study
Department for Education (UK)
This landmark report looks to identify, measure and assess the short-term and long-term effects of citizenship education in schools on students over time. 2010

Minnesota 4-H Youth Development Program Outcomes: Leadership and Civic Engagement
Produced by Extension: Heidi Haugen and Becky Harrington
Annotated bibliography on leadership and civic engagement developed to inform program outcomes for Minnesota 4-H Youth Development. 2008

Unpacking Youth Work Practice (PDF)
The Forum for Youth Investment
A growing body of research underscores the importance of caring relationships and is helping to unpack the specific social processes that unfold between young people and youth workers inside of programs. 2008

Gender, Ethnicity, Development, and Risk: Mentoring and the Consideration of Individual Differences
N. Darling, G. A. Bogat, T. A. Cavell, S. E. Murphy, B. Sanchez

Journal article on how the effectiveness of mentoring programs may be affected by each protege's culture, age and gender. 2006

Building Environmental Youth Leadership
Produced by Extension: Compiled by Nathan J. Meyer and Rebecca L. Meyer
A complete, downloadable curriculum for high school service learning. This group of environmental activities are around water conservation. 2004

Youth Mentoring in Perspective (PDF)
Jean Rhodes
Youth development programs should ensure that mentor programs are adequately implemented and evaluated, while broadening efforts to strengthen the caring capacity of adolescents' families, schools, and communities. 2001

Related organizations

A database of research-based youth development materials, particularly for at-risk audiences. Includes curricula, new and seminal research, technology and program evaluation resources.

NIOST National Institute for Out Of School Time
Links to several free tools, research articles and training related to youth opportunities during non-school hours.

Ready by 21 initiative
Ready by 21 provides leaders with proven tools and resources based on the knowledge and experience of top thinkers from across the country. Take advantage of blueprints, surveys, how-to guides, Webinars, in-depth coaching and technical assistance to ensure the success of your initiative.

Search Institute
Research-based solutions to challenges facing young people.

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