Blazing the Trail: A New Direction for Youth Development and Youth Leadership

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The Blazing the Trail summit provided a unique experience for a national dialogue on actions that need to be taken to improve policy and practice in the youth development and leadership field, and to ensure that youth with disabilities (including those with mental health needs), are included in opportunities available to all youth. The report details the dialogue that took place among youth with and without disabilities, state and federal policy makers, and community, state, and federal organization leaders including the important priority action steps identified by the participants.

These five steps are:

  1. Helping youth achieve youth development and leadership outcomes
  2. Promoting youth guided/youth directed policy
  3. Inclusion of youth with disabilities
  4. Partnership development
  5. Professional development

The report also identifies the challenges that surfaced during discussion and the next steps to be taken by all stakeholders in the field of youth development and youth leadership.

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