YDI accomplishes its mission by partnering with community-based organizations and government agencies to strengthen and improve youth programs.
Our work is geared toward achieving three core objectives:
- Promoting Youth Development: Increasing knowledge and understanding of youth development principles and practices among youth-serving providers;
- Creating the Conditions for Positive Youth Development: Building capacity among youth-serving organizations and systems to deliver effective strategies that improve outcomes for youth and support the structures and environments required to sustain high-quality practice;
- Professionalizing the Field of Youth Development: Strengthening the Youth Development field by supporting learning communities and disseminating best practice knowledge.
Our approach to working with organizations and agencies reflects both our deep understanding of youth and our expertise in organizational development. We deploy a comprehensive set of strategies to achieve our objectives, typically including the following:
Broad-based and Customized Training
YDI has developed a wide array of curricula and a deep roster of experienced staff and consultant trainers to deliver training that is tailored to the unique needs of specific projects. Our core curriculum, Advancing Youth Development, is a two-day evidence-based training program designed to teach the principles and practices of positive youth development by using highly interactive and engaging methods based on best practices in adult learning. We supplement this core training with other training curricula such as Engagement and Retention, Leadership and Management, and Promoting Youth Leadership.
Coaching and Organizational Consultation
YDI uses a coaching and consultation model to support organizations in developing effective programs and creating a strong organizational foundation for successful implementation. We provide thought partnership along with tactical assistance to assess barriers and structural challenges to effective practice, identify obstacles to youth engagement and retention, problem solve, and determine additional targeted training needs. Organizational consultation may result in the development of a strategic plan, a logic model or the redesign of a core program strategy. Coaching and consultation scaffold organizational learning and help staff incorporate new knowledge, skills and approaches into ongoing practice.
Networks and Communities of Practice
Facilitated exchanges in the form of networks among youth-serving practitioners is a critical strategy for building strong youth development programming. Connecting staff across organizations in a shared, safe space where peer learning and reflection are prioritized provides an effective context for the exchange of ideas and the development of consensus on best practices that can strengthen program operations. Networks also bring together individuals from different organizations who can benefit from working together to resolve issues that affect a particular community or the field as a whole.
To bring the Youth Development Institute to your organization or program, contact us at (917) 993-7173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.