Youth-Adult Partnership Spotlight-Fall 2023

Fall Back

Fall is a time many look forward to, AND it is also a time when others begin to dread the winter days ahead.  For this blog post, we are not looking ahead to winter, but back.  The winter 2023 Youth-Adult Partnership blog post focused on being intentional about describing who we are.  As we lean into building understanding we use this self-knowledge to be more intentional about knowing others.  It is how we communicate and this communication is central to our next county Building Youth Voice opportunity.  

During the April workshop, participants provided a series of possible next steps or priorities.   This information illustrated that of the six ways youth lead.  Communications and media, recruitment and continued engagement of youth, was a high needs area.  

As a result, our planning committee selected this content to create a space where youth and adults could be learners together.  Youth leaders already connected to media roles with organizations, participated in a panel with community professionals.  

While adults often begin with the question, “What media platform do you use?”, youth began by discussing:

  • What do you think communication is? 
  • How do you engage in communication? 
  • How is communication leadership?

Then, youth leaders engaged the panel to identify key learning areas for the workshop.  Prior to this conversation, we built common vocabulary using an article entitled, “14 Critical Skills All Communications Professionals Should Be Cultivating”.  Youth learned more about:

Technical skills

  • How to select your tools (i.e. understanding marketing technology)
  • How to build your skills (i.e. social media literacy)
  • How to write messages (i.e. question-asking skills, good writing

Community Building

  • How to connect to your audience (i.e. inclusive communication, unbiased perspective, listening)
  • How to create connection (i.e. social capital building, internal and external communication, empathy, knowledge of current events)

While adults reading this may be on the edge of their seats hoping to learn which media platform to use, the most discussed topic was how to connect to your audience.  

If you choose to read Marketing to GENZ, listed in the resources below, this will not be surprising.  The authors’ research highlights the shift and conflict in characteristics for youth born from 1996-2010.  More than anything, they seek to build connections, engage and be participants not recipients.  GENZ are described as busy, authentic individuals.  You get 5 words, and those words need to be authentic.

As the planning team continues to develop the workshop agenda alongside our youth leaders, we are grateful to create a space that centers authenticity.  This intersection of knowing ourselves and learning how to engage others.  It will provide not only essential information to continue to build out more successful communications efforts, but also provide key strategies to connect coalition work, set growth goals for our youth-adult partnerships, and, as our facilitator’s activity will illustrate, this is only the tip of the iceberg.


First, a very special thank you to our community resources: Shar Hermanson (Midwest Family Broadcasting), Annette Miller (EQT by Design), Alan Luckett  (JATV).

Continue exploring through: 

Rock County Community Asset Interviews and Focus Groups

Building Youth Voice in Rock County 

The Media and Me: A Guide to Critical Media Literacy For Young People by Project Censored and the Media Revolution Collective

Learning to Give equips young people of all ages with philanthropy tools and knowledge as they discover what they care about and take action with their time, talent, and treasure:  Critical Conversations, Media Literacy, Making our Voices Heard: Vote, Citizen Participation

Marketing to GENZ: The Rules for Reaching This Vast and Very Different Generation of Influencers by Jeff Fromm and Angie Read

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