‘Fires to be lit’

Here at YVC, we design youth service projects to ignite a passion in our Youth Volunteers–to get them hooked on volunteering. We plan interactive projects and service-learning to meet each individual volunteer’s needs and interests. A recent TED presentation echos these sentiments and articulates them perfectly.

Peter Benson, president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Search Institute and one of the world’s leading authorities on positive human development, delivered thispresentation on youth development. Here’s an excerpt from his speech, followed by the full presentation:

Most choose to work with our youth from the outside in, filling them with our values, with factoids and expectations. Instead, what if we worked from the inside out? What if we let this person emerge for who he or she is, encouraged their spark, nurtured that?


How do these ideas affect how you interact with youth? And how can we better implement the idea of sparks to engage youth in service?