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How Youth-Led Non-Profit Orgs Keep Teens Engaged

Best Practices

Through the platforms offered by the online setting, youth-led organizations have been creating meaningful engagements with their partner communities, as well as regular passersby who encounter their insightful content along social media avenues. Behind their creative content made tangible through informative articles and videos, exists a talented pool of young individuals who remain ever-engaged pursuant to the values and visions of their respective organizations. 

Taking into account the busy schedules of these students and their personal battles against the obstacles of online classes, what then makes them stay in non-profit organizations amidst these challenges? What makes the youth willingly remain in these platforms when they can simply do anything else that does not involve any work?

Collaboration & Compassion. The answers may sound simple, but how they are integrated into the vibrant culture of these organizations are actually very much inspiring.

Collaboration

Every culture is a work in progress, which is why we are always open to suggestions that can further enhance our growth as an organization.

Ellyza De Guzman, Salig PH Chairperson

Salig PH Chairperson, Ellyza De Guzman says that collaboration among members in her organization is a must. Ruled by the principles of equity & cooperation, the culture of the organization creates creative spaces for collaborative growth, altogether contributing to a healthy workplace. This collaboration is one that knows no position; regardless of the level of authority each member in Salig PH has, everyone is invited to share ideas, suggestions, or thoughts for the development of the organization. Chelssy Casals, Salig PH Vice Chairperson expounds on this, saying that this extent of collaboration has allowed the organization to tackle important issues in fresh and different perspectives. Moreover, such collaboration does not only include asking members what they want to see in the next initiatives and content of the organization, but also how they would like to communicate their ideas. The leaders of Salig PH allow their members to shed light on different issues, relative to their “preferred expressions” to ultimately empower each member as they hone their graphic design, video-making, or writing skills, without compromising the entire goal of the organization

Such values of collaboration are also implemented in other non-profit organizations. According to Nicole Liwag, former Research and Information Committee member  of The Butterfly Effect PH, members are given the opportunity to do collaborative research for their personal advocacies. Similar to Salig PH, The Butterfly Effect PH allows members to pitch in their own ideas for their own content. Liwag further notes that the high number of members per committee does more good than harm for the organization. The more people there are in each committee, the more even is the distribution of workload among everyone, which eventually results in more collaborative opportunities for everyone. In essence, members of both Salig PH and The Butterfly Effect PH continue to be engaged in their organizations through the comfortable, open, and safe spaces made available for them — all in the spirit of communication and collaboration.

Compassion

Apart from collaboration, both organizations also value compassion. In Salig PH, De Guzman notes that such compassion is evident in their recognition programs. Casals notes that recognition is essential in helping members “reinforce their connection to the organization itself and its mission and vision.” Simply put, recognitions in Salig PH help members trace themselves back to their Why as members of the organization. To further enrich this recognition, Casals narrates how every now and then, the leaders of Salig PH email their members photos or messages from their respective beneficiaries to remind members of how each of them has been able to create lasting value even for the most far-flung communities, despite them remaining inside the confines of their own home.

The compassion aspect to this practice is how these acknowledgements are not exclusively given to members who reach the highest content engagements; rather, Salig PH ascertains that the smallest efforts of each member are recognized. This roots in how leaders of the organization acknowledge that above everything, their members are students; not only are they offering their contributions, but they are also offering their time amidst other academic commitments. This further more justifies why it is important to extend appreciation to all members. Moreover, Salig PH’s leaders ensure that not only are members recognized, but also reassured that they can freely contact their superiors in times they would like to request for less workload. 

Furthermore, The Butterfly Effect PH implements another approach for instilling compassion into their culture. Liwag notes that a great practice of the organization is their work hours implementation. Having these schedules set in place are not only for establishing a structure for the organization, but also for providing a framework for the members that leaves little room for burnout and exhaustion. The latter issues have been recurrent problems raised by students struggling through the uncharted waters of online learning, so the heads of the organization make sure that such problems are addressed and accounted for in furthering their pursuits towards communicating their advocacies as an organization.  

We’ve established our own little family in Salig PH, and have always done our best to stay true to what “family” entails — respect and concern while fostering a devoted and passionate environment.

Chelssy Casals, Salig PH Vice Chairperson

In sum, what makes members of youth-led, non-profit organizations continuously engaged is the organization’s admirable priority for their members’ well-being. Even amidst the constraints of the remote setup, they have managed to create a home for their many members that they now consider a family. Perhaps it is to note that being students themselves, the leaders of these organizations know what their fellow members specifically want and need at a time of uncertainty and hardships. In this light, there is actually much to learn from these organizations, especially with regard to what young members in the workforce deem necessary in order to truly have meaningful and engaging experiences amidst these times.

Learn more about these organizations!

Salig PH

The Butterfly Effect PH