Youth Engagement Keynotes and Workshops

Adam in Miami.jpg

KeyNotes & Workshop Descriptions

The Basics of Youth Engagement

An introduction to Adam’s powerful youth engagement models including youth/adult partnerships, youth voice and more, and a great place for participants who are new to youth engagement. Adam’s interactive approach highlights theory and action through practical activities and stories designed to build knowledge, skills, confidence and creativity for anyone invested in youth engagement.

Participants in this speech or workshop can… 

  • Explore strategies for youth engagement in their organization or local community;

  • Examine research-driven tools and national examples, and;

  • Create a practical plan for infusing youth engagement in their settings.

Advanced Youth Engagement

No matter who you are, where you are or who you are serving, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to be a successful youth engagement practitioner. Adam’s highly interactive approach to this topic builds confidence and creativity among participants who want to become masterful youth engagement practitioners. Following Adam’s “Intro to Youth Engagement” speech or workshop, “Advanced Youth Engagement” can give insights, activities and resources to facilitate activities that engage youth as never before. Expanding on The Practice of Youth Engagement, this topic is action- and outcome-focused.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Identify and examine what works and doesn’t work in their current youth engagement practices;

  • Learn how to use research-based tools for practical planning that leads to powerful outcomes, and;

  • Establish reflection, outcomes and accountability loops for critical self-examination and program purposes.

Building Youth-Led Programs

Facilitating effective youth development requires new thinking focused on our planet’s bigger picture. Youth-led programs puts the hearts and minds of youth into the community, positioning them to find solutions that are both innovative and resourceful. This training provides participants with invaluable frameworks for powerful activities and positive outcomes. 

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Establish a personal, professional commitment to engaging youth as partners in youth development and community building programs

  • Gain the knowledge necessary for successful program design and facilitation

  • Examine various applications, outcomes, criticisms and successes of youth-led programming

Youth Empowerment Basics

This is an intensive, hands-on and motivating topic designed to empower youth empowerment advocates, and give participants the knowledge and skills to do the same for others. This speech or workshop includes theory, activities, evaluations and planning opportunities for participants, as well as the tools to complete activities. 

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Build their knowledge of youth empowerment, including its theory, activities and outcomes

  • Become comfortable and confident facilitating several youth empowerment activities

  • Use several tools to facilitate self- and group-critical conversations about youth empowerment

Cooperative Games for Social Change

Discover the art of facilitating cooperative games for social change. This intensive speech or workshop is highly experiential, teaching the art of facilitation, providing a variety of activities and approaches for using them, and exploring the deeper issues in becoming a “Playa for Life.” Focused on giving participants the confidence and skills to facilitate learning experiences, the activities used in this topic can be used to change the world. Looking at ways to safety within a group, ways to have meaningful, helpful games with youth and adults, and ways to improve self-confidence and facilitation skills, participants also receive many other tools and ideas to become industry leading facilitators of cooperative games for social change. 

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Develop professional skills and knowledge as well as learn program activities for future use

  • Heighten critical consciousness about game usage, the gamification of youth work, and group development outcomes

  • Receive a certification from the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement

Youth Voice in Action

This topic engages participants squarely in the struggle to engage youth voice in positive, powerful ways to overcome oppression, challenge injustice and promote democratic society. Participants will expand their knowledge, develop their skills and deepen their abilities to seed, build, promote and advocate for youth voice throughout nonprofits, schools, families, communities, government and beyond.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Become advocates and allies for youth voice throughout society

  • Learn how, where, when, why and who youth voice is for

  • Develop their abilities, knowledge and skills for facilitating youth voice in positive, powerful ways

Youth Engagement Train-the-Trainer

Participants in this workshop will participate in train-the-trainer lessons designed to teach how to facilitate essential skills and knowledge for youth engagement. In addition to receiving a training guide, participants will experience lessons, facilitate lessons, evaluate themselves and others, and learn how to modify, adapt and implement youth engagement training in their settings. 

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Examine the core elements of youth engagement in nonprofits, government agencies, schools and other settings

  • Experience more than 10 lessons on youth engagement, learn how to facilitate learning for youth and adults, and facilitate activities

  • Evaluate implementation opportunities and make plans for learning facilitation

  • Receive a certification from the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement 

Facing Adultism

Focused on applied learning, this topic teaches youth, youth workers, educators and others about the reality of adultism today. Participants learn to identify adultism, determine its effects in a given setting and on youth in general, and explore different ways to mitigate, embrace, eliminate or lessen those outcomes. Emphasizing intersectionality, this topic also explores intersectionality, acknowledging the connections of adultism with many oppressions.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Develop a working understanding of adultism and its intersections with youth oppressions of all kinds

  • Identify who, where, how, why and when adultism affects them and the youth they serve

  • Examine different approaches to addressing adultism in youth services, schools, government agencies and beyond

Intro to Meaningful Student Involvement

Explores Adam Fletcher’s internationally recognized Frameworks for Meaningful Student Involvement. This topic teaches participants how to create powerful, purposeful approaches to engaging students as partners in schools.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Foster meaningful involvement for diverse students in classes and activities in schools

  • Recognize the practical learning, teaching and leadership applications for meaningful involvement throughout schools

  • Build student/adult partnerships for effective school improvement

Advanced Meaningful Student Involvement

A concrete series of exercises focused on integrating students as partners throughout education. Action planning, learning rubrics, evaluation activities, and student-adult partnerships will be explored in classroom teaching, school improvement, and throughout the education system.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Plan long-term programs to support meaningful involvement

  • Establish substantial learning goals aligned with curriculum to reflect the frameworks of meaningful student involvement

  • Evaluate and give substantial feedback on current student voice efforts and create pathways for meaningful involvement 

Intro to Student Voice

Participants learn that student voice is any expression of learners focused on learning or schools. This speech or workshop develops both students’ and educators’ understanding what student voice can do in school, including classrooms and school improvement activities.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Identify the value, opportunity and avenues necessary to harness student voice

  • Build adults’ and students’ abilities to share, listen to, and evaluate student voice

  • Find effective tools to support student voice in classrooms, hallways and school boardrooms

More than Student Voice

This speech or workshop can help educators and students understand that schools can become locations for passionate, effective action by all learners in all subject areas. Focused on practical tools to influence teaching and learning, this topic provides the skills educators need to transform teaching in the 21st century.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Develop comprehensive strategies to support student voice throughout education

  • Establish ancillary roles throughout schools to support, sustain and champion student voice

  • Marshall support for student voice from students, parents, educators and others

Advanced Student Leadership Training

This topic emphasizes applied leadership throughout schools. Participants work together throughout this speech or workshop and learn how to engage students beyond planning dances. They explore how to engage traditional and nontraditional student leaders solving serious problems in their schools by fostering student engagement for all learners.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Evaluate traditional student leadership for its effectiveness by examining assumptions, activities and outcomes 

  • Move students from becoming typical towards becoming innovative, nontraditional leaders

  • Build support among adults within schools for advanced student leadership through strategic partnerships between learners and adult leaders

Engaging Nontraditional Student Leaders

Designed for educators who want to reach the quiet, inconvenient, or disregarded student leaders in their schools, this speech or workshop is practical, meaningful and outcome-oriented. Participants develop new perspectives of their abilities while enhancing their daily approaches to student engagement. It provides concrete examples and establishes clear opportunities in each participants’ setting for action.

Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Identify opportunities to engage nontraditional student leaders throughout schools

  • Build personal and organizational capacity to engage nontraditional student leaders through skills development and knowledge building activities

  • Implement new approaches to student leadership to support nontraditional student leaders

Engaging Students on School Boards

This workshop or speech is for current school board members, student representatives, superintendents, district staff and advocates who want to explore the purpose, practice and outcome of engaging students on school boards. Practical examples, meaningful tools and substantive evaluations are explored, and planning opportunities are offered.

  • Participants in this speech or workshop can…

  • Explore the basics of meaningfully involving students on district and school boards

  • Learn practical ways to get students on board, including who the students should be, how they are selected, and what they do

  • Plan meaningful next steps for implementing this strategy in their school boards


“Adam Fletcher’s work is especially relevant in getting young people to participate in the realms of politics and critical education.” —Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University; Author 40+ books about education and youth

“Adam creates opportunities for people to become meaningfully involved in the decisions that affect them. Their work has made them the “go to” organization on these issues nationally.” —Greg Williamson, Washington state education agency

“Adam is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world regarding student voice and youth rights. I have attended his thorough and excellent presentations and confer regularly on current work in the field. I highly recommend him as a presenter and a writer in our field.” —Dana Mitra, Associate Professor, Penn State University; Author, Student Voice in School Reform.

“Adam is one of the most gifted, principled visionaries who empowers people of all ages and backgrounds to pursue authentic youth engagement in all sectors of society.” —Wendy Lesko, Executive Director, Youth Activism Project; Author, Youth: The 26% Solution.


Please contact us for pricing information.

FAcilitated by

Adam Fletcher – Adam Fletcher is an internationally recognized advocate for youth engagement. The author of more than 50 publications, 100s of articles and a dozen books, Adam is also a passionate speaker, prolific writer, pragmatic consultant and empathetic facilitator working with schools, nonprofits and government agencies to improve the lives of children and youth. 

After consulting more than 500 projects focused on engagement, Adam has the experience to make practical, meaningful steps with your organization. Beginning in 2001 with his flagship program, The Freechild Project, Adam work on youth engagement has influenced communities worldwide. His education outreach program called SoundOut began in 2002 and has led the international student voice movement since. Adam’s recent initiatives focus on personal engagement. 

Adam believes engagement is the sustained connection a person has to the world within or outside herself or himself. He fosters lifelong engagement through substantive personal development, sustainable social change, meaningful policy reform, and powerful transformational activities.