Perceptions of a youth leadership program's impact on resiliency

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cody Talbert (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Thomas J. Martinek

Abstract: Youth development programming continues to emerge as a promising way to alter the challenging route that adolescence considered at-risk encounter (Benson et. al., 2006; Hellison, 2011). The Youth Leader Corps (YLC) is one example of a cross-age, after-school youth development program. Over the past three years, the YLC program has transitioned to include students attending the newly established middle college that is an alternative high school, situated on the university campus. Recently, six youth leaders from the middle college completed their third year in the YLC. A way to investigate the impact of youth leaders’ experiences is through a resiliency framework (Benard, 1993, 1995). The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of participating in a values-based youth leadership program on resiliency, specifically on the relationships with others, personal expectations, and pursuit of opportunities for personal growth. Classroom teachers, the YLC staff, and a parent or caregiver were also included in the study. Data indicated that the opportunities provided within the physical education course and the YLC helped to establish relationships among teachers, youth leaders and the children, which were reinforced by program expectations. Cross-case analysis showed two common themes emerging from the youth leaders’ relationships with others: (a) connection and interaction with the children in the program (i.e., cross-age bond), and (b) improved their social competence. Two themes emerged for the second research question, impact on personal expectations: (a) improvements of self-worth and (b) self-identify as a positive influence within a structured environment. The findings for the third research question, which pertained to pursuit of opportunities for personal growth, were limited and varied among each youth leader participant.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Cross-age Leadership Program, Middle College High School, Physical Education, Positive Youth Development, Teaching Personal & Social Responsibility
Youth development $z North Carolina $z Greensboro
After-school programs $z North Carolina $z Greensboro
Interpersonal relations in adolescence
Physical education for youth with social disabilities
Leadership in adolescents

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