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Youth leadership development is critical in building civic capacity and long-term community sustainability in Pottawattamie County. Programs that teach useful skills and build the self-confidence of young people ensure capable, effective leaders for the next generation. In addition, recent national trends including an increase in youth civic service indicated a growing need for leadership training to ensure young people are prepared to participate in political and civic life.

A recent survey conducted in Pottawattamie County indicated a large number of young people want to be given useful roles in their community and be given a “voice” in local changes and happenings.

Promise Partners is working to bring the youth voice to community issues and concerns, while fostering the development of confident, independent, and motivated youth leaders.


Youth involved experience:

  • Less involvement in risky behaviors, such as drug use and juvenile delinquency
  • Improvements in areas such as teamwork, critical thinking, decision-making, public speaking and dependability;
  • Increased self-esteem and improved self-identity.


Adults working with program participants experience:

  • A stronger sense of community connectedness;
  • A greater understanding of young people and their developmental needs.


Communities that involve youth as decision-makers:

  • Gain new energy and ideas;
  • Become more connected and responsive to the needs of young peopley.


Current Programs & Initiatives Include

  • Youth leadership council focused on philanthropy, grant making, service to others, and leadership development.

  • Collaboration & support to incorporate skills, experiences, relationships as the building blocks of healthy development.

  • Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention

    Prevention & limitation of the onset of substance use through community planning, building assets, & evidence based programming.

  • Youth Program Quality

    External assessments and support to encourage quality programming in out-of-school time opportunities. Trained external assessors of Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA) and Dimensions of Success (DoS).

  • Youth Leadership Training & Opportunities

    Opportunities to provide assistance to schools and organizations. Trained facilitators in goLEAD (Leadership, Education, & Development), Ricochet: An Extreme Leadership Adventure, Leadership & Resiliency Program (LRP), Prime for Life Prevention & Intervention, Girls Circle Support Group.