Journal of Youth Development (Mar 2013)

Positive Youth Development in the 21st Century: Exploring Online Environments

  • Mark Light,
  • Jessica Falkenthal

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 1
pp. 16 – 26


Read online

The manner that young people and adults are communicating with each other is rapidly changing in society that is, in part, driven by the latest technology. As a youth-driven program, we must engage in new strategies and methods by which we communicate with youth members, volunteers, families, and the community at large. Social and mobile media are a growing and popular venue for much of our target audience and youth development practitioners must learn how to leverage these networks to create positive youth development in online environments. If we ignore and don’t engage in the opportunity to be connected to youth online, then youth are left to make their own paths online and set the online norms. As youth organizations, we also must seize the opportunity to be online mentors and use the resources that are available and being used by our target populations.