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Why Have a Teen Advisory Board?

Mar 18, 2016

Teen advisory board

B.E. A. S.H.E.R.O. Foundation is an organization that serves youth and/or addresses youth issues. It’s important to let the community know that we believe in young people. By inviting them to join our board and giving them responsibility, we are demonstrating our integrity and showing that we’re not just paying lip service to the idea of youth capacity.

No one person can speak for all those she represents, and one or two young board members can’t claim to know what every teen in the community thinks and feels about something. They can give their own perspective, however, and relay the feelings of those of their peers they’ve spoken to. They’re far more likely to have a window on the general attitudes of community teens than most adult board members are, and their information can help the board in making important strategic decisions about issues that affect youth or about involving them.

As a result of interactions with youth board members, adults on the B. E. A. S.H.E.R.O. board are more likely to develop more positive attitudes toward young people.

The benefits of having a teen advisory board.

While our board encourages teens to get involved in the community, there are a myriad of other benefits for having a Teen Advisory Board.  These benefits include: Youth can bring new and creative ideas.

—Youth can inject new life into our board.

—Young people are idealistic and energetic, and their freshness can bring passion and direction to a board that’s gone stale, or that has ceased to be (or never has been) excited or innovative.

—By including youth on your board you’re helping to build community capacity for the future.

—Youth board membership makes your group more inclusive and participatory

—Having a mix of ages, genders, backgrounds, etc. that reflects the whole community often leads to better decisions, grounded more strongly in reality, than does having a less diverse group making decisions that have consequences for the whole community.

—Having teen board members is more likely to convince community youth to participate in your organization or support your positions

—If youth know that they’re honestly represented and that their concerns are considered, they’re much more apt to buy into and support your decisions than if decisions are made for them without their input.

—By including youth on our board, we are making a statement to the community about their importance and about their ability to contribute.

—Our board can gain insight into the youth perspective on issues and on its actions.

—Board membership can make youth more conscious of and knowledgeable about community issues and the larger factors that affect their – and others’ – lives.

We are a grassroots foundation and having a diverse board that includes youth membership is likely to be consistent with our philosophy. That kind of consistency is extremely important, especially when inclusiveness or youth empowerment are among our goals, and they are!

We are encouraging youth leadership and developing the next generation of community leaders. We encourage international exchange students to apply.  Please circulate to your friends, colleagues and family members! This is why B.E. A S.H.E.R.O FOUNDATION will be sustainable for many years to come!