Unfinished Business: Further Reflections on a Decade of Promoting Youth Development

The central themes of youth development were articulated 10 years ago. The main accomplishment of the past decade has been giving them a name. The youth development language and philosophy have caught on. Progress is still needed: the policy uptake has been uneven at best. But the call for a “paradigm shift” from deterrence to development has generated a surprising amount of energy and enthusiasm in Washington, D.C. and across the country. If used strategically, this positive, normalizing language could foster a national conscience that propels us to do better by all our young people, especially those most likely to be forgotten.