Mapping Youth-led Engagement: Impacts of Youth-led Engagement in English Canada over the Last 35 Years
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This study explores how youth have inspired social change in Canada from 1978 to 2012. The objectives of the research include defining youth-led engagement in Canada, understanding its role as a change agent, and mapping the relationships between strategies and impacts. The goals of this study are to help current and future youth maximize opportunities that are likely to result in the greatest success, as well as increase opportunities for youth to be involved in decision making processes by validating their contributions. The research includes youth who effect change in a variety of contexts from across Canada. Data collection consists of an online media search and supplementary document reviews. A media content analysis methodology is applied to extract the data, while frequencies and cross tabulations in the form of chi-square tests were used to analyze them. The results show a strong relationship between strategies youth use and the impacts that follow. Further, the data show that youth have made some of their most frequent contributions by participating in political processes to address issues of equality, empowerment and social justice. Patterns between youth efforts and long-term changes in society are discussed, and the measurement of impacts is considered. This research measures three types of impacts youth have had on social change: individual, community/interorganizational, and systemic. It highlights the importance of institutionalizing the inclusion of youth as part of decision making processes in Canada, and validates the argument that youth have important contributions to make to our diverse society.