What I Wish Everyone Knew About Youth-Adult Partnerships

By Myron Norman

Let’s face it, nobody reaches the top of their game without the help of talented people. Don’t agree? Lebron James would. After all, the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t exactly a shoo-in for the NBA Playoffs this year.


If you’re a young entrepreneur, you probably know the importance of forming winning relationships with the right people — including adults. That said, I’d like to give you the inside scoop on youth-adult partnerships.

According to "Advocates for Youth, a youth-driven nonprofit championing sexual health, rights, and justice; a youth-adult partnership or Y-AP “is one which adults work in full partnership with young people on issues facing youth and/or on programs and policies affecting youth.” To add, some Y-APs are formed in the business sector outside of issues and policy.

A youth branding agency working alongside high school entrepreneurs to learn how young people use social media could be considered a Y-AP. In exchange for young minds and social media insights, the youth branding agency may grant their young partners access to cutting-edge marketing platforms and digital technology. A huge benefit if their young partners don’t have access to high-end digital technology.

One thing to note is, Y-APs can be as strategic as youth need them to be. If you, the reader, need to make a University connection, link up with a financial institution, or change laws, there are plenty of adults out there to help you get it done.

So, why are Y-APs so important? The answer is quite simple.

Our world is adult-driven. If you’re young and have a plan to succeed, chances are, you’ll need some adults on your side to get ahead. On the flip side, those same adults need you too. That’s what makes Y-APs so strategic; they can be win-win partnerships for both youth and adults, and the data proves it.

A report released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) states, “Slightly over half of Dutch young people between the ages of 15 and 24 occasionally do volunteer work.” That’s a lot of free hands! When young people partner with adults, through volunteerism, adults can better understand the needs and concerns of youth, share knowledge, and develop programs and marketing strategies relevant to youth. A huge win for the BIG people.

To sum this article up, I’ll leave you with a quote from the  renowned cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead…

"The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown… The children, the young, must ask the questions that we would never think to ask, but enough trust must be re-established so that the elders will be permitted to work with them on the answers." — Margaret Mead

This article was originally published by Myron Norman, Author & Content Strategist on Healthybrainbooks.com

Header Image Courtesy of: Canada Running

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