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Are You a Diverse Thinker?
Be aware of what you and others assume - your assumptions, the things you take for granted, might not be correct.

Be aware of the situation in which you are acting. What works in this circumstance that might not in another? What won't work because of the uniqueness of this situation?

Question absolute statements (for example, "This is the only right way!") and ask "who benefits if I do it this way?"

Explore different ways to think and act and be CREATIVE! (Young people are often especially good at this).

Watch for contradictions; be logical.

Know your sources (for example, learn how to evaluate websites).

SWOT Analysis

What do we do well? What are we good at?

What do we not do well?

What is happening in the community that can help us? Who or what might be supportive?

What is happening in the community that might get in the way? Who or what might be an obstacle?

Take Action in Communities

Take Action in CommunitiesWhat do you love about your community? What would you change? Why isn't something being done?

These are things you may think about all the time or just now as you are reading this...but one thing is for sure: young people have the ability and the power to make changes in their communities and they do by TAKING ACTION!

Action Planning Steps

  1. Identify an issue. It's best to start with something you feel passionate about (see personal leadership for strategies).
  2. Do the research. Find out what the facts are; use diverse thinking skills (see sidebar).
  3. Gather friends and people you know who are interested or concerned about your issue; build a team (keep in mind leadership styles.)
  4. Set achievable goals:
    • Start by brainstorming what success would like look ideally.
    • Do a SWOT Analysis (see sidebar) to review strengths and weaknesses.
    • Write down realistic goals.
  5. Make an action plan:
    • Tasks: what needs to be done?
    • Responsibilities: who will do what?
    • Timeline: When will tasks get done and the project be finished?
    Action planning (PDF: 88K) gives a good model for a group planning process.
  6. Take action! - Carry out your plan!
  7. Evaluate and Celebrate! - Both the success and challenges.
Take Action in Communities

Examples of Youth Community Action

What Kids Can Do
Teen Empowerment

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