The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement (CEYE) brings together the expertise of youth, youth service providers, academic researchers and policy makers to identify, build and implement models of effective practice for meaningfully engaging youth and to document the results. The CEYE is committed to involving youth on a lead basis with the support of professional adults in every step of the research, policies and products generated. In addition, the Centre engages young people to benefit from the knowledge generated by partners and other sources including the three related Centres of Excellence. The CEYE focuses particularly on involving disengaged youth who have the potential to benefit most from the positive health outcomes associated with meaningful engagement. The Centre operates under the administrative leadership of The Students Commission and partners with a strong network of Canadian health, social, youth and research organizations.
What is Youth Engagement?
Our working definition: Youth engagement is the meaningful and sustained involvement of a young person in an activity focusing outside the self. Full engagement consists of a cognitive component, an affective component, and a behavioral component - Head, Heart, Feet.
• Meaningful youth engagement produces benefits to youth and the community in which they live.
• Through engagement, youth gain a sense of empowerment as individuals and make healthy connections with others, which is associated with reduction of risk behaviours and increased participation in positive activities that contribute to community.
• Youth engagement is a cross-cutting, comprehensive, strength-based practice for effective protection, prevention and intervention on multiple issues.
• The community gains from the contributions that youth bring to organizations, activities and their relationships.
• Maintain a continuously updated, web-based literature review.
•Develop a framework for measuring meaningful engagement.
• Encourage researchers to study the link between the developing adolescent brain and the impacts of positive youth engagement.
• Assist organizations and communities to implement and evaluate youth engagement programs, including the YMCA and the Toronto Police Service, where youth engagement is credited in part with the reduction of gun-related violence in the city.
• Assist in numerous government initiatives and organizations, including the UN/UNICEF global study on violence against children, the Growing Up in Cities initiative, the World Urban Youth Forum, the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Kainai Children's Services, the cities of Vancouver and Kingston, the Saskatchewan Schools Plus Initiative, and youth centre members of Town Youth Participation Strategies.
• Contributed significantly to Health Canada's work in the Tobacco Control Program, Canada's Renewed Drug Strategy and national frameworks on tobacco and problematic drug use.