411 – Building Programs Where Youth Want to Be
Megan Owens, Assistant Professor, Western Illinois University
What is the magic recipe to providing engaging programs that youth want to join? There may not be a magic recipe but some key ingredients lead to better quality programs. Whether a child chooses to participate, their parent needs a reliable, safe childcare option or someone suggests the experience will be ‘good for them’, the most successful programs create an environment where youth connect with others, feel valued and welcomed in that setting. This session will dive into the techniques for building impactful programs that use connection and belonging to encourage youth to explore their interests and develop important life skills.
Learning Outcomes: Participants will be able to:
- Gain a better understanding of the relationship between youth engagement, connection, and sense of belonging.
- Identify key program elements that lead to developing connection and sense of belonging.