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Youth civic engagement is a wide-ranging, complex field of study and practice. It comprises politics, education, youth development, media, nonprofits, and many other areas and actors that influence young people's participation in civic life. CIRCLE's study of youth civic engagement, and our efforts to increase it, improve it, and make it more equitable, are founded on our understanding of what it is, why it's important, and how all of us can work together to support it. That understanding has been shaped by nearly two decades of research, by our relationships with partners and practitioners, and by what we have seen have a substantial impact.

We encourage you to explore these pages and learn more about how we approach youth civic engagement. We understand that ours are not the only valid frameworks and interpretations, but we believe that sharing our perspectives will help you better understand our work and consider your role in efforts to improve youth participation.

What Is It?

Youth participation in civic life has vital implications for democracy, for communities, and for young people themselves. Our research elucidates some of the benefits of youth engagement—and the dangers when that engagement is scarce or inequitable.

Why Is It Important?

Youth participation in civic life has vital implications for democracy, for communities, and for young people themselves. Our research elucidates some of the benefits of youth engagement—and the dangers when that engagement is scarce or inequitable.