Authors: Cindy Carlson
December 1, 2005
Hampton Coalition for Youth

Young people are taking on important roles in civic life and public decision-making in Hampton, Virginia. This field report introduces Youth Planners--high school-aged young people who work as city planners creating policy, tackling issues important to the city's youth, staffing a commission of young people who serve as the voice of local youth, and championing their own component of the Hampton Community Plan. Now in its tenth year, Hampton's Youth Planner initiative has dramatically increased the opportunities for youth to have a voice in local government and the way community leaders and government officials view them. Lessons are shared on the benefits and challenges of working within such an extensive system of youth civic engagement, and within a youth and adult partnership. This program was a 2005 Innovations in American Government Award winner.