Aspira’s Youth Leadership Development Program is based on the following principles:
- Young people are a community asset, not a problem.
- It is important to build meaningful relationships across race, class, gender, sexual identity and generations to strengthen the existing social capital of young people in low income communities.
- Youth leadership development takes a long time — it is a process. Caring adults need to invest in young people over a period of years.
- Young people need to be actively engaged in the process of community change at all levels, from the street corner to the board room.
- Society must acknowledge and embrace the idea that youth are talented and capable of leading community change.
- Young people must lead positive change themselves in order for it to succeed.
- Leadership programs must identify, nurture and support more than a talented elite.
- The process of developing young leaders begins with learning how to learn.