Being Y-AP Savvy: A Primer on Creating & Sustaining Youth-Adult Partnerships


Being Y-AP Savvy: A Primer on Creating & Sustaining Youth-Adult Partnerships

4 years ago 4 years ago Published by
This toolkit was created by ACT for Youth.


Youth-Adult Partnership (YAP) is not simply youth and adults being in the same room. They are working together as colleagues, struggling together, and celebrating their successes. Our definition is this:

Youth-adult partnership is involving youth and adults in responsible, challenging, and collective action that seeks to benefit an organization or larger community. All individuals in the partnership have the opportunity to engage in planning, decision-making, and action consistent with their own interests and skill.

It is not expected that all youth and all adults will be involved in all decision-making. Some members do not have sufficient time to always participate; other members may not always be adequately prepared to participate.

Y-AP can be a powerful tool for organizational improvement. Organizational improvement is not about youth leading the charge and having the right type of energy. Nor is it about adults having the proper wisdom and years of experience. Rather organizational improvement is about all staff and participants – regardless of age – having the legitimate opportunity to work collectively, bringing their unique talents and perspectives to the table. The term “partnership” reminds us that the engagement and voice of both youth and adults are critical.

This manual represents the work of many practitioners, researchers, and youth with whom we have collaborated and learned from over the past decade. Our contribution has been to reflect on this wealth of experience, collect and analyze data, and synthesize all of it in a way that makes it useful for the field.

Zeldin, S., & Collura, J. (2010). Being Y-AP Savvy: A Primer on Creating & Sustaining Youth-Adult Partnerships. Ithaca, NY: ACT for Youth. Retrieved from

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