The Wakanda Project

What is the BSU Experience?

In the Wakanda Project, the BSU Experience is about Youth-Adult Partnerships in Public Actions. The BSU Experience is about citizenship; the privileges and responsibilities.

When young people are afforded opportunities to make a real difference in their communities, youth benefit as do local residents and community institutions.  Despite the potential of these strategies and the range of labels used to describe them, surprisingly few organizations exist for the explicit purpose of catalyzing meaningful youth engagement in community change.  

Translating Principles of Youth Engagement into Practice Pittman, Martin and colleagues (2007) commingled research and field experience to identify core principles of effective youth engagement:

  • Opportunity: Youth need authentic access to change-makers, as well as connections to the broader youth community.
  • Capacity: Youth need the training, tools and teams to be prepared to engage in change efforts.
  • Motivation: Youth need the time to learn about community issues and the chance to decide what issues they want to address.

Foundation: Youth need to be connected to a solid organization or group that is able to foster membership, continuity and a supportive work environment.

"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

--Thomas Jefferson to W. Jarvis, 1820.