Giving Youth the Skills, Education, and Confidence to Make Their Communities Stronger

Want to better your community but don’t know where to start? Enter It’s the Little Things: a weekly Strong Towns podcast that gives you the wisdom and encouragement you need to take the small yet powerful actions that can make your city or town stronger.

It’s the Little Things features Strong Towns Community Builder Jacob Moses in conversation with various guests who have taken action in their own places and in their own ways.

What does investing in the youth of your community mean to you? For some, it could mean giving them the technology they need to succeed in and advance their studies. For others, it could mean mentoring youth through the transformative years of primary school.

No matter your definition, there’s a core mission we all share: we want to invest in the future leaders that will make our cities and towns stronger. At Strong Towns, that means getting youth involved in planning, raising them in urban neighborhoods, and encouraging more family-friendly cities.

It also means, as my guest Latoya Wilson explains, giving youth the skills, education, and confidence they need to make their own communities—in particular, low-income communities— stronger.

Latoya is a Strong Towns member and founder of Rebuild Talent Consultancy: a program that creates effective career development programs for inner-city, K-16 students and consults on policy projects that focus on industry development, career development, and protection of small business.

And her methodology includes much more than giving kids laptops. Latoya zooms in, helping youth understand that these investments will prepare them for industries with higher wages; then zooms out a bit, discussing where these investments fit in the context of making their own communities stronger.

In this episode, you’ll learn how you can invest in the youth of your own community, including how to understand their learning landscape, how to create programs that are beneficial for them, and most importantly, how to make your investments last throughout their time in primary school and beyond.

(Top photo via Kadena Air Base)