Young people that have played sustained leadership roles in youth organizing efforts are more likely than their comparable peers to enroll in four-year colleges and universities and engage in various civic activities in early adulthood. A groundbreaking new study published by the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access which explores the educational and civic trajectories of low-income youth found that young people involved in organizing had higher rates of college enrollment and demonstrated a deeper and more varied engagement in their civic and political life.
Learning to Lead: The Impact of Youth Organizing on the Educational and Civic Trajectories of Low-Income Youth, a study conducted by UCLA Professor John Rogers and USC Professor Veronica Terriquez, compares the experiences of former members of youth organizing groups to those of a randomly selected sample of young adults who never participated in youth organizing while in high school. Rogers and Terriquez find that youth organizing alumni are far more likely than comparable peers across California to enroll in four-year colleges and universities and engage in various civic activities in early adulthood. These findings provide further evidence for the value of youth organizing: In addition to building power and garnering significant policy “wins,” youth organizing groups are powerful agents for youth development.