Spotlight On: Youth Engagement

Youth engagement is at the heart of all we do at LMTI. We spend most of our time figuring out the most effective, most creative, and most FUN ways to give youth opportunities to develop the skills they need to make positive changes in their schools and communities. We find that the most important aspect of youth engagement is really all about connection. We also know that there is a big difference between being connected and feeling connection. Youth today are more connected than ever through smart phones and social media, but that does not mean that they are always experiencing the value of real human connection. Especially right now, when connection is impeded because of COVID-19 and social distancing, many youth may be feeling isolated or alone, even if they are on their phones texting their friends all night long. As adults who work with youth, we have an opportunity to adjust our sails and figure out how to reach out to the members of our Action Groups, school clubs, sports teams, or classrooms, even when we cannot physically connect with them, because when we are apart, relationships matter more than ever.

The information in this week's Spotlight is all about how positive relationships with youth are the foundation from which we can build effective youth engagement. Again, these resources are great for anytime, but I hope you'll take some time now to think about how you can continue to support and engage the youth in your life, even under our current circumstances.

Webinar Series

Join LMTI Director, Jamie Sierfeld, and learn more about what we really need to do to engage youth. We'll explore the Search Institute's Developmental Relationships Framework to help us understand the importance of creating meaningful relationships with youth and how this can be the foundation for giving them the opportunity to make a true impact in their schools and communities. 

We've pre-recorded this session so you can watch it at your leisure, and share with anyone who you think would like to see it!

Journal Printouts

A free resource you can share with the teenagers you work with filled with easy to do positive self care and mindfulness activities. We'll be providing new pages all the time, so they can build a journal that will grow and grow!


An ever growing list of resources that can provide support, hope, and help can be accessed on the LMTI Resources Page.

You can also check out these links, which feature helpful articles and other resources specific to supporting adolescent/teenager mental health during this pandemic:

A great, online quiz to use during this time of social distancing to help improve your interactions with the youth you work with. When you receive your results, you'll also receive approaches and activities you can use to help you, even during this time!

A helpful checklist from the Search Institute that will help you discover how you connect with and engage the youth you work with virtually.