Why are Youth Programs Important

Want to know why youth programs are important? Youth programs help young people develop better social skills, become leaders, gain greater knowledge of themselves and others, and often foster lifelong relationships.

But programs vary widely in quality. What makes youth programs effective? How do you know if they are a good fit?

That being said, finding truly meaningful and potentially transformative youth programs can be challenging.  There are many choices, including sports, camps, arts programs, and volunteering available in many areas. The role of helping find the perfect fit is an important role for parents, grandparents, teachers, and other mentors.  

Not all people will agree; however, offering advice can help make a difference. Afterall, pointing young people to activities that are not just fun but can also offer opportunities to develop character strengths, skills, and abilities is paramount and the benefits can last a lifetime.

In fact, youth programs offer huge benefits to tweens and teens. Researchers refer to the Six C’s—desired outcomes that many youth programs provide to young people:

  • Competence in academic, social, and vocational areas.
  • Confidence or a positive self-identity.
  • Connections to community, family, and peers.
  • Character or positive values, integrity, and moral commitment.
  • Caring and compassion.
  • Contribution.

As children grow older and transition from middle to high school age, they often seek more autonomy and independence. They naturally react against authority and the kinds of structure found in programs for younger children. Not surprisingly, these youth program qualities benefit teens developmentally.

Of if you want to know why are Youth Programs Important, it is because they can help build these Six C’s, preparing adolescents for a variety of roles they assume as they reach college-age and the workforce.