Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Handout 1: A Youth Leader Is...

This list was created by the youth and adult trainers at the Unitarian Universalist Youth Leadership Development Conference Training in 2004.

  • One who recognizes personal limitations and asks for help when needed.
  • The "entertainer," the "informer," the "quiet commander," the person who pushes the limits, the facilitator who brings it all together.
  • One that holds the space for youth to be youth.
  • Someone who listens to others, not just with the ears, but more importantly, with the heart.
  • Steps outside of their "comfort zone", so that they can grow and evolve as an individual.
  • Someone who can pick out the main goals and desires from someone's heartfelt but disorganized ramble or rant.
  • Can be like a booster on a rocket—helping to propel the astronauts to space but not actually going to the moon.
  • Someone who inspires others.
  • One who supports any youth—especially those who have dreams and ideas to share.
  • One who cares for everyone—there is no room for being judgmental.
  • Someone who takes the initiative to make things happen in the community.
  • Someone who demonstrates youth empowerment in anything from moderating the energy of a group to facilitating a business meeting.
  • Someone who responds well to the needs of the group, whatever they are.
  • Someone who is responsible and reliable, and who can motivate another person to create change.
  • One who shares power with the adult and works together toward a common goal.
  • A young person who has a combination of strength, intelligence, and passion and is using these talents to encourage other youth to voice their opinions and take action on their beliefs.
  • Not just telling everyone what needs to be done, but allowing them to come to that conclusion through their own processes.
  • Someone who can be responsible and keep things running smoothly.
  • Like any other leader, except they are a youth.
  • A person who people trust and respect.
  • Someone who knows when to step up and step down.
  • Willing to fill leadership roles and speak out against injustices like racism and bigotry.
  • Willing to make a ridiculous fool of him or herself.
  • Someone who models inclusion and works actively to achieve community.
  • Able to see and feel beyond themselves, to be aware of how other youth are reacting, and to see how that effects the entire group dynamic.
  • A vital part of the UU movement.
  • A youth who leads by example, by consensus, by inspiration, by identifying, developing, and empowering fellow youth.