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How Might We Engage Youth To Learning?

August 3, 2020 | Emily Murray

This past spring, I had the opportunity to be a part of a Human Centered Design research project where we looked at youth and education. My team included Truclusion consultants and local educators. Together, we sought out how might we better connect youth to learning.

What makes the Human-Centered Design process so effective is it goes directly to the people you are trying to support for the answers on how to best support them. We asked youth from our local public schools and youth programs about their passions; what they are, how they got introduced to them, and how do they make them feel? We found three common themes kept occurring: emotion, exposure and influence. Here are details from each theme.


  • Youth show pride in themselves and/or their community.

  • Youth are driven to improve the world around them.

  • Youth want to feel happy.


  • Youth need access to introductions to new ideas and activities.

  • Youth need positive relationships whether it be youth to youth, or mentor to mentee.

  • Youth need to be given access to quality and matching or resources to fuel the passion.


  • Youth are driven to create a better world around them.

  • Youth want to see themselves as a valued member of community or group (pride).

  • Youth want to make people around them feel good.

These are the three most important questions we suggest youth program and education leaders should ask as they try to further engage youth learning in programs:

  • How might we help youth feel that they are a valued member of a learning community/group?

  • How might we expose youth to activities that are properly matched to need and foster positive relationships?

  • How might we help connect learning and enjoyment?

At Truclusion we have several specialists who work on youth inclusion, if we would like to learn more email us at


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