YOUTH VOICEs (guide) 16
“…feels like I made a difference going out there and talking to people. Makes me feel good because people listened, took in what I’m saying. Trying to make a difference makes me feel good” Youth Voices community partner
act Aim: to implement a group action project addressing issues of importance to young people.
Now that the group has engaged in a great deal of thinking and planning about what actions they want to take in their communities (see Plan phase), it is time to Act Act. Once the group begins to implement their plan, they may realize that it is not possible for them to do their whole action plan at once. It is important to remember the cyclical nature of the Youth Voices process. Groups do not have to feel that they need to take on the whole world in one go! The process is meant to facilitate a situation in which groups start small and build up the action through several Youth Voices cycles. If it is the group’s ﬁrst time through the Youth Voices cycle then they may begin by implementing a small portion of their action plan, such as to display their photos or the other materials/media they have been working with. If the group has already been through one or more cycles of Youth Voices, they may move on to more in-depth forms of action.
*What is most important is for youth to begin doing something and seeing the results of their efforts.* Once a direction is decided upon, participants should be given assigned tasks to be responsible for, either individually or in small groups. For Activity please refer to Act appendix
Remember, things take time, but it is also important to keep things progressing or the youth group may get bored and lose interest. Set regular meetings with the group so they can report on their progress and talk about their successes and challenges.
17 YOUTH VOICES (guide)
“I really enjoyed the presentation, especially because the presenters were young, not old people telling us not to smoke” Youth Voices audience member
Check-In, Evaluate and Adjust
Even though at this phase the group has developed a detailed project plan and task plan, it is important to stay ﬂexible. Things change, opportunities arise and some things just simply don’t work. It is important to debrief with the group at each meeting about how they are feeling, ask them about things that have annoyed them and how the tasks and the project plan are progressing. Be prepared to adjust, re-do and change things, or just to listen. For Activity please refer to Act appendix
*As the group takes action, they should be encouraged to share and celebrate the experience with each other!*
ACT Appendix: Action Task Plan p. 37
“Usually these things don’t get to me but since teens were saying it and not preaching to us, it was better” Youth Voices audience member
Check-In, Evaluate and Adjust Activity p. 37
Checklist of things to accomplish during the Act Phase: Decide on the ﬁrst or next step to take in the implementation of the group’s action plan Break the action into tasks and assigned individuals or groups to be respon sible for each task Check-In with group regularly Implement the tasks and celebrate the work!