Implementing an Effective Youth Development Program

Woyach and Cox (1997) identified 12 principles that make effective leadership programs. The first five principles relate directly to the outcomes or content of leadership programs. The remaining seven principles speak to the process of leadership development. The 12 principles state that leadership programs should accomplish the following.

  1. Help youth learn specific knowledge and skills related to leadership.
  2. Enable youth to understand the history, values and beliefs of their society.
  3. Facilitate the development of individual strengths and leadership styles.
  4. Facilitate the development of ethics, values and ethical reasoning.
  5. Promote awareness, understanding, and tolerance of other people, cultures and societies.
  6. Embody high expectations of, confidence in, and respect for the teens served.
  7. Emphasize experiential learning and provide opportunities for genuine leadership.
  8. Involve young people in service to others‹to their community, their country and their world.
  9. Facilitate self-reflection and processing of learning both individually and cooperatively.
  10. Involve youth in collaborative experiences, teamwork and networking with peers.
  11. Involve youth in significant relationships with mentors, positive role models, or other nurturing adults.
  12. Be developed around stated purposes and goals.