May 12 • 42M

E16: Learning about Modern Youth Leadership

An interview with Adam Fletcher: Re-thinking how to engage with youth in our lives, schools & communities

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Appears in this episode

Eoin Bastable
The people, places, and ideas we overlook & what we can learn from them
Episode details
Adam F.C. Fletcher

A few months ago, I wanted to learn more about youth serving on Portland’s Board of Education as student representatives (E8). In searching for a knowledgeable source, I came across Adam Fletcher.

Adam turned out to be a great connection.

He has reached millions of people with his work through a growing library of articles, books, and presentations focused on youth development, engagement & leadership. He also regularly hosts workshops that draw on his lived experiences working within hundreds of schools and community organizations.

Today, Adam is the director of the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement; SoundOut Supporting Meaningful Student Involvement, and; which focuses on the history of North Omaha.

In this interview with Adam Fletcher, we explore aspects of his newest book, Steps to Youth Leadership in Modern Times. The interview is also full of practical insights and useful ideas on how to reframe and upgrade outdated ideas we may hold about youth and leadership.

I know Adam taught me a lot.


Here are a few topics that are covered:

  • Adam discusses early influences & becoming a storyteller while living in Omaha, Nebraska

  • Reframing “inconvenient” and “non-traditional” approaches to youth leadership

  • Making connections between modern youth leadership and mental health

  • Going WAY beyond seeing youth leadership as only including youth on a board or an advisory committee

  • Identifying pitfalls that can disengage youth

  • Why we should stop assigning blame to youth for societal problems (e.g., youth violence, youth obesity)

  • How to approach youth leadership from a developmental perspective

I wish I had found Adam’s work sooner in my career and life. This book can provide helpful guidance to anyone who is supporting or raising youth in today’s fast-evolving world.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Adam Fletcher (full bio here)

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