Interests and skills for community partnerships

You can build community partnerships for youth programming starting with your skills and interests.

Organizations serve youth through a variety of topic areas like leadership, service learning, career exploration and workforce preparation, athletics, music, arts, crafts, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and more. These programs are delivered in a variety of ways in school or during out-of-school time. The focus or topic area that a youth organization specializes in can make a good partnership or collaboration for other organizations.

If you’re a youth worker, seeking a partnership with an organization can start with you. You have different interests, skills, talents, hobbies or certain causes that interest you. As you think about your interests or the causes that interest you, begin seeking potential organizations that program in those areas.

One benefit of seeking organizations that have programs relating to your interests is you will be able to speak the language and have some type of understanding on how you can partner with that organization. It may also assist you in recruiting efforts to partner. There is also a chance that you may know where to go in your community to seek the partnership.

One important step as you begin this process is to make sure you have the green light from your supervisor to seek this type of partnership for the organization. Before you meet with your supervisor, here are some points to consider that can assist you as you’re seeking to partner with an organization. These points can also serve as questions or topics to talk about as you meet with your supervisor and also be some points to discuss as you meet with your potential partner.

Will the partnership do the following for both organizations?

  • Fit in the mission, vision and goals.
  • Enhance or add value to the programming that is offered.
  • Fill a need in programming.
  • Reach new audiences.
  • Lead to opportunities to write a grant.

Starting with your overall interests and skills can allow you to be creative for partnerships and programming for youth. It can allow you to add a unique program and lead to other opportunities for your organization.

4-H provides numerous opportunities and programs that can match your skills and interests. Consider 4-H as a potential partner. In Michigan, you can contact a 4-H member through Michigan 4-H Youth Development, which is part of Michigan State University Extension.

Get excited about the interests and skills you have and make an effort to partner with an organization for youth programming.

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