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Celebrating International Youth Day: 3 Ways to Get Involved With Local Youth

Celebrating International Youth Day: 3 Ways to Get Involved With Local Youth

By mbramble, Contributor
Published: August 12, 2015 Updated: August 13, 2015

Happy International Youth Day!  Since 2000, the United Nations has used International Youth Day to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. This year the theme is Youth Civic Engagement. Young people will share their stories, swap ideas, and participate in events on civic engagement activities. They are future business owners, partners, and customers. As youth around the world explore how to engage in civic, political, and social spheres, here are three ways that small business owners can engage and help improve the lives of youth locally, all while building credibility for your business.

Contact Your Local Youth Center

Many of us have roots at the local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, or other recreation centers. Check in with your local center to see if there are opportunities to contribute to character and leadership building activities. These initiatives will enable you to use your know-how as a go-getter to be a living example to youth in your community. If you do not have time to be a part of programming, you should be able to become a sponsor.

Another option is to check in with your local homeless shelter. Many offer courses that teach life skills to youth and parents. As a small business owner, you can pass on your knowledge on leadership, decision-making, business etiquette, interviewing skills, technology, and communication.

Reach Out to Local Colleges and Universities

Most colleges have an internship program for their students and many now have entrepreneurship programs. Reach out to the career center or internship office at your local university and speak with a counselor about hiring a student. There may even be a local high school that has students who might be interested. Working with your small business will provide valuable professional experience for students and a young mind and fresh set of eyes for your business.

Become a Mentor

Mentoring is a great opportunity for personal and professional growth, not to mention a tremendous way to give back to the community. You may already know a young aspiring entrepreneur. If not, reach out to your network, or simply search “become a mentor [insert your city]” to find opportunities near you. Additionally, sites like Volunteer Match and Big Brother Big Sisters of America are great places to start your search.

Is there someone in your life who empowered you as a young person? What are some ways you have engaged with the youth in your community?

If you’d like to take part in International Youth Day programming, find out what’s happening near you.

About the Author:

Mariama Bramble