What We Do
Ohio Adult Allies facilitate youth-led programs. Youth-led programs are designed to empower young people to affect change in their communities and provide spaces for Ohio youth to develop critical learning, innovation, life, and career skills. By engaging in this process, youth contribute to building healthier, safer, and more resilient communities throughout Ohio.
Youth-led programs are community-based processes where young people:
Determine a problem of practice by examining local and state data on issues concerning Ohio youth
Identify the root causes of their problem of practice
Select and implement evidence-based strategies to address those root causes
Abstract: In youth-led programs, young people collectively engage in a data-driven planning process to create and implement a strategic plan that uses evidence-based strategies to create community-level change. This white paper provides an overview of the two frameworks that inform youth-led programs: the Youth Empowerment Conceptual Framework (YECF; Holden et al., 2004) and the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF; SAMHSA).
Excerpt: While many programs provide youth with a safe space for recreation, few are designed to empower young people to address pressing issues within their community. Youth-led programs (YLP) are distinct because they develop young people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes to be catalysts for positive change within their communities.
Youth-Led Programs in Action
OYLPN's Youth Council Strategic Plan
In 2016, the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network (OYLPN) Youth Council engaged in a strategic planning process to determine a problem of practice, identify what was contributing to the identified problem, and select strategies to implement. This video documents young people’s experiences with the process.
The OYLPN Youth Council: Establishing Statewide Priorities
In Summer 2017, OYLPN Youth Council reviewed statewide behavioral health data to identify priority areas for youth-led programs in Ohio. Through this approach, OYLPN Youth Council seeks to affect statewide change by unifying the efforts of youth-led programs across Ohio.
The Clark, Green, Madison Regional Youth Summit
In Fall 2017, young people from Clark, Greene, and Madison Counties came together to determine what the priority issue should be for their region based on the statewide priorities identified by the OYLPN Youth Council.
This completed Strategic Plan Map from OYLPN’s Youth Council is an example of how young people document their community-level change efforts.
In order to support Ohio Adult Allies and the youth they work with, various training
opportunities are offered for individuals of all experience levels.