Youth Infusion can be adapted to a wide variety of advocacy campaigns, youth programs, community organizations and agencies, and we can help you.
What Is Youth Infusion?
Youth Infusion begins with a simple, cutting-edge concept: By directly including young people who are affected by public policies, organizations enhance their credibility, capacity, and clout.
This intentional intergenerational approach provides opportunities in the real world where young people contribute their idealism, insights, and ideas. The result: they prove their strength to themselves and the larger community. In return, dedicated professionals derive energy as young collaborators fuel new thinking and remedies that may have become stale to the adult world.
Youth Infusion introduces a new method of tackling today’s problems where people of all ages and backgrounds create intergenerational and multi-racial organizations.
Definition: Intergenerational means “the involvement of members of two or more generations in activities that could potentially make them aware of different perspectives [generational]. – Villar, 2007, p. 115.
With more than 50 years of combined experience, Wendy Lesko and Adam F.C. Fletcher are uniquely situated practitioners and advocates for youth infusion. Their broad experiences of fostering and facilitating youth infusion allow them to share deep insight and vast knowledge about who, what, when, where, why and how youth infusion happens, works and sustains individuals, organizations and communities.
“I was 15 but Wendy spoke to me—not even like I was an adult, because she didn’t think I needed to be an adult—to be taken seriously. She spoke to me as if I was her equal even though I was a teenager.”Lulit Shewan, Youth Activism Project Director of Partnerships & Outreach
About Wendy Lesko
“While the rhetoric promoting youth participation is not new, few researchers and institutions have mined the intergenerational partnership model illustrated by Wendy Lesko.”
– Prof. Anthony Bernier, Editor, Transforming Young Adult Services
Wendy Lesko, co-author of Youth! The 26% Solution, United Way of America’s Youth as Equal Partners, and other books has given hundreds of presentations from TEDxYouth@Columbia to the US State Department International Visitors Leadership Program. Her experience as a community organizer with Cesar Chavez’s United Farmworkers Union and a reporter covering the US Congress contributes to her effectiveness in demonstrating authentic youth civic leadership. She is co-founder of the Youth Activism Project and numerous intergenerational campaigns that led to the passage of local ordinances, state legislation and 20 other public policies, Wendy is the recipient of 2019 Dr. Gary M. Blau Rockstar Professional of the Year by Youth MOVE National.
About Adam F.C. Fletcher
“Adam Fletcher’s work is especially relevant in getting young people to participate in the realms of politics and critical education.”
– Henry Giroux, The Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy at McMaster University
Adam Fletcher, co-founder of Freechild Institute based in Olympia, Washington is an international thought leader who has consulted more than 300 organizations, including the CENPEC in São Paulo, Brazil; Community Organisers in London, UK; the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia; and many others. His books include Student Voice Revolution: The Meaningful Student Involvement Handbook (2017), as well as recent chapters in Empowering Our Students for the Future (2019, Rowman & Littlefield) and A Handbook for Student Engagement in Higher Education (2020, Routledge). Adam grew up in low-income family in a depressed community but adult allies helped him overcome generational PTSD and he was only child to graduate from college.
Let’s take action together.