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Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

provide recognition for

provide recognition for positive behavior and opportunities for pro-social involvement promote empowerment foster pro-social norms Using PYD to address stereotypes and inequality Gender Positive youth development principles can be used to address gender inequities through the promotion of programs such as "Girls on the Run." Physical activity-based programs like "Girls on the Run" are being increasingly utilized around the world for their ability to encourage psychological, emotional, and social development for youth. "Girls on the Run" enhances this type of physical activity program by specifically targeting female youth in an effort to reduce the gendered view of a male-dominated sports arena. "Girls on the Run" is a non-profit organization begun in 1996 that distributes a 12-week training program to help girls prepare for a 5k running competition. This particular program is made available to 3rd through 5th grade female students throughout the United States and Canada to be implemented in either school or community-based settings. Another example of positive youth development principles being utilized to target youth gender inequities can be seen in that of a participatory diagramming approach in Kibera, Kenya. This community development effort enabled participants to feel safe discussing their concerns regarding gender inequities in the community with the dominant male group. This approach also enabled youth to voice their needs and identify potential solutions related to topics like HIV/AIDS and family violence. Ethnic minorities in the United States Positive youth development can be used to combat negative stereotypes surrounding youth of minority ethnic groups in the U.S. After-school programs have been directly geared to generate increased participation for African American and Latino youth with a focus on academic achievement and increasing high school graduation rates. Studies have found programs targeting African American youth are more effective when they work to bolster a sense of their cultural identity. PYD has even been used to help develop and strengthen the cultural identities of American Indian and Alaskan Native youth. PYD methods have been used to provide a supportive setting in which to engage youth in traditional activities. Various programs have been implemented related to sports, language, and arts and crafts. Sports programs that use positive youth development principles are commonly referred to as "sports-based youth development" (SBYD) programs. SBYD incorporates positive youth development principles into program and curricula design and coach training. Page 32 of 72

Models of implementation Asia The key constructs of PYD listed above have been generally accepted throughout the world with some regional distinctions. For example, a Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale has been developed to conceptualize how these features are applicable to Chinese youth. The Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale was used as a measure in a study of Chinese youth in secondary schools in Hong Kong that indicated positive youth development has a direct impact on life satisfaction and reducing problem behavior for Chinese youth. One specific example of PYD implementation is seen in the project "P.A.T.H.S. (Positive Adolescent Training through Holistic Social Programs) to Adulthood: A Jockey Club Youth Enhancement Scheme." This program targets junior secondary school students in Hong Kong (Grades 7 through 9 in the North American System). The program is composed of two terms, the first of which is a structured curriculum focusing on the 15 PYD constructs and designed for all students as a "universal prevention initiative." The Tier 2 Program is a more selective prevention model directly targeting students with greater psychosocial needs identified by the school social work service providers. The label "at-risk" is intentionally avoided because the term denotes a very negative stigma in Chinese culture, and therefore discourages participation in the program. Although Chinese social workagencies commonly target students with greater psychosocial needs, these PYD programs have rarely undergone thorough systemic evaluation and documentation. Europe In Portugal, the utility of positive youth development principles in sporting contexts is beginning to be recognized. Several athletic-based programs have been implemented in the country, but more research is necessary to determine their effectiveness at this point. Latin America and the Caribbean Positive youth development has also been seen in the form of youth volunteer service throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. From Mexico and Page 33 of 72

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