Ben Kirshner and five CU leadership students spoke about leadership training for young people in Boulder County to help them achieve their dreams and goals.

How do young people in Boulder, who want to be involved in creating solutions for their communities or the world, get the leadership training they need to achieve their goals and dreams?

This huge question is one that Ben Kirshner, PhD is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder and Faculty Director of CU Engage: Community-Based Learning and Research is working to solve.

Ben brought five of his CU leadership students to discuss how he and his students started to address this issue. They conducted a Boulder wide study regarding leadership training. The group identified the primary challenges facing the variety of organizations that provide leadership training to young people in Boulder. Those challenges include; funding, finding volunteers, and inclusivity.

Within the study, they identified four of the best practices of youth leadership training which include, inclusivity, civic engagement, youth development/ skill building and youth- adult partnership. Organizations need to have strong partnerships between their organizations and other community organizations, strong financial and material resources and a good foundation of well trained mentors and volunteers.

Ben and his students will continue to add to the study and they work on ways to help leadership organizations meet the challenges identified by the study. They will be working to add more data to the study by broadening the number or organizations surveyed and expanding to other communities like Longmont.

Chris Coker has been working with Ben on this youth leadership challenge. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Chris at: