Proactively educating youth and identifying trends in youth issues is a critical part of youth work. Learn ways to deal with various issues in your youth program.
Comments on this page? Curator: Amber Shanahan, Extension educator
Youth Development Insight
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
About two years ago, students at Becker High School in rural Minnesota created a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). These students wanted a space where they could be themselves, connect and feel safe in a town where they often feel they don't fit in and can't express their true identities. For adolescents, access to safe spaces is a crucial part of development and exploring self-identity. For youth programs, this is a fundamental concern.
While physical safety is the foundation of the YPQA pyramid from the Center for Youth Program Quality, emotional safety is also of crucial importance. Only when youth feel emotionally and physically safe are they able to present themselves in an authentic way and engage in positive development. Without that authenticity, true development cannot take place.
Minnesota has the nation's largest Somali American community, with census numbers placing the population at about 57,000, followed by Columbus (Ohio), San Diego, Seattle and Atlanta. Kenya hosts the largest number of Somali migrants (both refugees and nonrefugees) of any other country, according to UN estimates. Nearly all Somalis living in United States are either refugees or children of refugees.
See all youth issues blog posts
Reports & journal articles
What we're reading
From journals and the popular media. Selected by our youth issues educator Amber Shanahan.
- Adulting school teaches young adults grown-up skills- MPR
- Teens Want More Education About the Electoral Process
- Text Your Way to College
- Teenagers in The Times
- So We Know Students Are Stressed Out ... Now Let's Talk About It Jacquie Lee, NPR Digital Media May 12, 2016
- Schools are now teaching kids - and their parents - how to deal with stress - The Washington Post
- Aspen Challenge: Youth Driven Solutions to Real World Problems | Aspen Ideas Festival
- The Social Emotional Well-Being of College Students | Aspen Ideas Festival
- Minnesota High School Screens Students for ACEs to Develop Trauma-informed Education | Youth Today
- Finding Hope: Shepherding Un(der) Documented Students to a Thriving Life After High School | Youth Today
Our past presentations
This symposium focuses on the latest findings from research on adolescent brain development, and the implications of this research for our field’s practice and policy work. 2012. Read more.