Youth development encompasses all of the programs that companies employ to help children and youth outside of the classroom. These initiatives may include, but are not limited to:
- Academic tutoring programs
- Mentoring or “big-brother, big-sister” programs
- Sponsorship of youth athletic teams
- Volunteer work for local youth groups such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
- Career counseling and professional mentorship
- Financial literacy programs for youth
Why does business engage this issue?
The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Although formal education is crucial for personal and professional development, children also develop many of the “soft skills” critical for future leadership outside of the classroom. Whether or not a child has access to a positive role-model at home, mentorship or counseling from a professional can offer a huge confidence boost and help that child acquire skills that will help them succeed in his or her own career. Businesses recognize that the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and want to do their part to make those future leaders as prepared as possible.