Youth Leadership Café (2014)

The Youth Leadership Café is based on the Community Café model of engagement, partnership, and action planning, in which attendees form social connections, identify issues and resources, and formulate an action plan, including steps for sharing what is learned. During the café, participants sit at “café tables” and discuss assigned questions related to the event’s overall theme. Participants rotate from one table to the next and share feedback and ideas at the end.


  • Develop the youth-family-community partnerships that support the conversational leadership and democratic engagement of current and former foster youth
  • Generate an action plan for how youth, with the assistance of supportive adults, will become leaders, including tangible resources and steps for participants to follow

Partners and Funding

The event was co-hosted by the Center for Family and Community Engagement and Strong Able Youth Speaking Out (SaySo), a substitute care advocacy agency based in Durham, NC. Youth and agency workers from across the state were extensively involved in the preparation and execution of the café. Funding was provided by NC State University’s Office of Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development. 


Discussions in the café led to a series of recommendations on strengthening youth-agency partnerships.

Read the recommendations