Youth Engagement Specialist, Freddy Cordero at CorderoW@co.chautauqua.ny.us or call (716) 753-4522.
The Youth Engagement Specialist:
Is responsible for researching, developing, implementing and evaluating programs for youth in the community. The main focus of the Youth Engagement Specialist is to help the community understand the importance of youth voice and how to involve youth in meaningful participation. Freddy will achieve this goal by helping youth become involved in all aspects of the system of care including several committees and workgroups. Chautauqua Tapestry's core committees include the Evaluation Committee, Family Committee, Youth Committee, Social Marketing and Technical Assistance Committee, and Cultural & Linguistic Competence Committee. Freddy will research existing resources in the community and reach out to help enhance services, while providing trainings on Youth Culture and Youth Voice in agencies and organizations.
What is meaningful Participation?
"Meaningful participation," means that a young person has the opportunity to make real choices for their individual plan and to influence decision making in the community. Young people will be involved in all aspects in system of care and their voice will be valued and listened to. We need young people's voices in order to provide appropriate, effective, and youth friendly services, as well as developing informational resources within Chautauqua County that are youth appropriate.
Benefits of youth involvement:
Involving young people provides them with a fantastic educational opportunity. By participating, youth will have the experience to build to their resume, learn new skills, receive various youth development trainings, and sometimes even receive community service credits toward graduation. Through tackling real life community problems they learn problem solving and decision making. They learn how to work cooperatively in a team, how to integrate and apply the various subjects they study in school, while at the same time gaining an appreciation for the other age groups in the community.
The community gains the creativity and energy of young people directed toward projects that are beneficial to all. Also, youth involvement in the community engenders in them an appreciation for community and as a result, encourages them to continue their involvement as adults. Youth who also become involved feel a sense of pride in helping out the community, peers, and adults to better the area for young people who are just like them.