Youth Development and Empowerment Resources


National Resource Center for Youth Development

This website offers facts per state and information youth demographics ie LGBTQ, Native American, Foster youth, etc. The Youth Port link is especially helpful for Foster Youth who are transitioning out of the system, providing links and resources for how to attain life-goals step by step.

National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth

NCFY links you to the information you need to serve youth and families in new and effective ways. Topics we cover:

Trauma-informed care
Runaway and homeless youth
Pregnant and parenting youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth
Adolescent pregnancy prevention and abstinence education
Positive Youth Development, or PYD
Relationship violence
Commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth
More topics

Positive Youth Development Resources at a Glance

Web-based resources, organizations, lists of books and reference guides for printed resources and positive youth development research.

Resource Manual 

Positive Youth Development Resource Manual

Since its release in 2006, the Positive Youth Development Resource Manual (PDF: 2.4M) has been one of ACT for Youth’s most popular publications. The purpose of the manual is to help facilitators educate community groups about positive youth development, with the ultimate goal of promoting organizational and community change. Written by Jutta Dotterweich, the manual is based on many years of close collaboration with diverse New York State community partnerships, as well as research and training resources in the field of youth development.


The Innovation Center

The tools and resources below offer strategies and lessons from the field on identifying the unique strengths within any community as a foundation for creating lasting change—both in the community and in the individuals of all ages who participate in these efforts.

Scholarly Articles

Our Community in Focus: The Use of Photovoice for Youth-Driven Substance Abuse Assessment and Health Promotion

This article is directed toward community coalition members, youth workers, educators, prevention specialists, and public health practitioners interested in using the photovoice method for youth-driven community assessment of adolescent alcohol and other drug use, by describing the process of implementing a photovoice project.

Youth Empowerment and High School Gay-Straight Alliances

This article explores how youth define and experience empowerment in youth-led organizations characterized by social justice goals: high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). Through focus group interviews, fifteen youth leaders of GSAs from different regions of California explain what they think empowerment means and how they became empowered through their involvement with the GSA. Youth describe three inter-related dimensions of empowerment: personal empowerment, relational empowerment, and strategic empowerment through having and using knowledge. When these three dimensions are experienced in combination, GSA leaders have the potential for individual and collective empowerment as agents of social change at school. By understanding these youth’s perspectives on the meanings of empowerment, this article clarifies the conceptual arena for future studies of socially marginalized youth and of positive youth development.

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