Leadership and community engagement

Society’s full potential is realized when young people are valued. Communities that embrace young people, support their development, and take their voices and visions into account are in the best position to overcome poverty and address the challenges of development.

Yet in many communities, young people—and particularly young women—remain an untapped resource, since they lack opportunities to contribute, to be mentored, and to learn by doing.

EMpower envisions a future in which young people have a path to leadership in their villages and their cities, in their communities and their countries, and, to the degree possible, in the wider world. Based on our belief in young people’s right to full citizenship, dignity, and respect and our faith in young people’s inherent capacities, EMpower invests in strategies that give young people opportunities to become present and future leaders. Our grants are aimed at developing young people’s leadership by building their confidence, self-esteem, critical thinking skills, and speaking power; expanding their opportunities for participation in collective processes; and channeling their innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial capacities into actions that enrich their lives, deepen their relationships, and educate and improve their communities.

EMpower supports programs that:

  • Prioritize strategies that promote youth participation, community involvement and service, to build leadership potential.
  • Support efforts to engage and support young people in developing their communities.