Resources on Mentoring Teen Leaders
The Importance of the Adult Leader
“Teens’ perception that they own and are responsible for all aspects of their program is fundamentally different from their perception of a program directed by an adult with some intended benefit for teens. Although many teens eagerly volunteer to be teen leaders, their success in this role is heavily dependent on the leadership skill of the adult leader who works with them.”
Building Vibrant Youth Groups
Why are some youth groups more effective than others? What are the distinguishing characteristics of highly effective youth groups? These are key questions many adult leaders ask as they struggle to mentor a youth group. Kirk Astroth has studied youth development and presents 9 key elements for building a vibrant youth group.
Teen Leadership: A Leader’s Manual
University of Vermont Extension, Adapted from Montana State University, Teen Leadership Leader’s Manual, July 1996. Contains great ideas on how to support youth development and growth as leaders.
The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings From the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development.
A longitudinal study that began in 2002 and was repeated annually for eight years, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 42 U.S. states.
Motivating and Delegating Responsibility to Teen Leaders
“Within the Network, it is an article of faith that that we want our teen leaders to be self-motivated and proactive in stepping up to their responsibility, to grow at a personal level into true leaders. This post describes a philosophy and approach in that direction that has proven effective.”
Influence Without Authority
This post describes how an adult leader benefited greatly from the guidance contained in the article, ‘The Influence Model: Using Reciprocity and Exchange to Get What You Need,” http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/influence-model.htm
Teen and Adult Leader Resources
A collection of resources provided by Kirk Astroth, who has done extensive research and conducted numerous workshops on mentoring young people.
Teen Leader Roles and Responsibilities – Models and Templates
Contributions from several of the teen café programs around the Network on their approaches to working with their teen leaders.
Teen Ownership of the Cafés!
This post describes an exemplary teen leader training. “[We] wanted to engage teens in every aspect of the program, from choosing topics and creating café themes to developing the culture of the overall program…. In the beginning of the training, we had teens think about the culture of the cafés. Rather than telling them how the program would run, we gave them the freedom to discuss what they thought it should look like…. After recording and sharing these images, the teens collaborated to develop a unified vision.”
When Teen Leaders Decide
“The adult staff … guided the teens, explaining how normal Science Cafés run, options for organization of the leadership team, and more. The staff offered ideas; they did not tell them what to do. All of the decisions were that of the teens; they chose the way they wanted the team to be organized, the event organization, everything…. Their decisions were never harshly questioned, nor were they scolded when things went badly; they simply adapted.”
Highly Structured Teen Leadership Team
“The formation of the council/committee structure and the evolution of what has become a smooth operation to me represents a demonstration of what teens are capable of if they are given the freedom and encouragement to be proactive and step up to responsibilities on their own initiative.”