Working with high school students in rural Oregon, SoundOut recently asked them what is most important to them when they are recruited for student voice activities and programs. These are recruitment tips from the students we talked to.
- Please Treat Me With Respect. Talking to youth like everyone is on the same level, rather than top-down, and you will be more relatable.
- Be Truly Supportive. We like positive feedback and encouragement. It is important to find a balance between offering both positive and constructive feedback.
- Get Consistent. Activities should be scheduled consistently. When efforts to build youth leadership are scheduled randomly and without regularity, we rightfully get suspicious and find it hard to trust adults. It is easier to assume an activity will not happen than to feel let down. Youth activities come and go in our communities and are never consistent.
- Make Space. Make a specific place for us in the community newsletter, and put a “Youth Section” on the bulletin boards around town. We want to provide input on things happening in the community, and to share and learn about upcoming activities, workshops and events.
- Make Room. We want to be active members of our community. Treat us as equals and have youth-related issues be as important as those issues that affect others in the community.