As community groups work with the Youth Voices survey results, we’ve learned from young people and those who work with young people that 9th grade is a crucial transition year.  Across the region, youth report decreasing participation in out-of-school time activities and report feeling less connected to their communities.

In the Mind/Shift blog  Why 9th grade is the pivotal year for dropping out of high school, author Holly Korbey suggests action that “engages young people in solving problems in their communities…There are no shortage of problems that need to be solved…we have the potential of young people” to solve tough community problems.

Group shot teens and adults IMG_8785Recent essays on this blog are filled examples of youth taking a lead in solving community problems.  Youth in Grand Rapids, Deer River, Greenway, and Northland and Northern Lights Community School have worked to develop action plans to address concerns.  And Social Studies teachers are developing ways to embed action into civics curriculum across the region.

What don’t we already know about?  Where do you see youth leading the way in building strong communities?