Youth Eligibility and Age Requirements

Youth must be active in a UU congregation or covenanted community and be of youth age range (see below).

Age Range for “Youth”

‘Youth’ are defined as those in high school grades 9-12 or the equivalent for homeschooled youth. For the purposes of its programs, the UUA defines “youth” as any young person currently in high school (or the equivalent for home-schooled youth or other uncommon schooling situations) as well as minors of the same age who have left school without receiving a diploma. Youth fitting this definition may or may not be minors. This standard is a shift from an older age-based definition to a new life-stage definition. Here is a breakdown of how this terminology works in real-life situations:

  • 18-19 AND in high school = youth and a legal adult

  • 18 or older and not high school (college, work, dropped out) = legal adult, not a youth

  • Under 18 and in college = minor, not a youth

The UUA staff responsible for an event are able to determine if a 14-19 year old not in a common situation is still at a youth life-stage and therefore eligible for youth events. This determination may be made in collaboration with the religious professionals or lay leaders at the youth’s congregation.

For events during the summer, leaders can choose to define grades 9-12 in terms of grades just complete or those starting in the fall.

Middle School or Junior High Events Age Range

Events that include youth in grades 6, 7, or 8 may have a variable age range so long as the age range includes no more than three grade levels and no more than four years difference in age. Examples include:

  • ages 12-15 and grades 7-9;

  • ages 11-14 and grades 6-8.