Youth Engagement Explained in 3 Words

This week’s blog was written by Vernisha Crawford Founder & CEO of B.Y.E, LLC.

Challenges Teens Face

If you had to list the challenges that teens experience today, what would that list look like? Maybe something like this:

  • Anxiety

  • Toxic stress

  • Behavioral issues

  • Changes with family dynamics

  • Cyberbullying

  • Bullying

  • Peer pressure

  • Pressure to perform

  • Poverty

  • Too much technology

  • Poor social/emotional skills

… The list could go on right?

What is Youth Engagement?

Youth engagement has been linked with involving youth in social change. But youth engagement is so much more than that and quite frankly less complicated.

As services providers, teachers, youth program directors, etc. We all share a common purpose and passion; to do what is best for our youth. And with warm hearts and good intentions, we still struggle to remember that our young people are human beings just like us and they need the same things we need.


Imagine what it would it feel if for the next 18 years of your life to speak and not be not heard? To be present but not included? To never know what it feels like to be trusted? I know we have personal experiences and can relate to what it felt like when we hear the words “Suck it up!”, “Just ignore it!”, “Don’t worry about it!”.

It doesn’t feel good. And it’s one of the worst things you can tell a youth. At Bringing You Excellence(B.Y.E.), LLC, we work with educational institutions, event organizers, and service providers to increase youth engagement in their programs. Not measuring youth engagement by the number of youth involved but focusing on the level of interaction, commitment, and communication of the youth involved.

Youth engagement is simple. Through our work, we ask questions so they can be HEARD, we INCLUDE them in decision-making processes, and we TRUST them to complete projects we create together.

Food For Thought:

A youth cannot be heard if they never speak.

A youth will not speak if never spoken to.

A youth will not be trusted if trust is never given.

About B.Y.E., LLC

B.Y.E. is a trusted 3rd party entity that provides youth program development services and facilitation to help organizations maximize their impact on the youth serve. Inspired to create youth programs with long-term measurable results, founder Vernisha Crawford has a background in performance management, leadership training, and organizational development. As a preferred vendor of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, B.Y.E boasts of a re-entry program with a 0% recidivism rate. In South Carolina, B.Y.E consults with non-profit organizations and schools to build youth programs such as the RIZE summit.

Call to Action

Are you interested in being a youth ally or volunteer at the next RiZe summit on August 6, 2019? If so, don’t miss out on the Let Youth Lead training, facilitated by B.Y.E, LLC, on April 12th. This training is free and includes lunch. Register today at: