Youth Development Programs Risk, Prevention
Adolescence is a time of both great risk and opportunity.
Buoyed by a belief that today’s adolescents
face more obstacles on the way to adulthood, from
time-crunched parents, dangerous substances and
behaviours, overburdened schools, and a more demanding
the job market, we as a nation no longer believe
adolescents should fend for themselves during nonschool
hours. In some communities, an array of
school-based extracurricular activities (e.g., sports,
music, art, community service) as well as community-
based youth programs provide young people with
ample choices for supervised activities outside of
school. This is far from the norm. Availability, cost,
transportation, and interest limit many youths’ choices
during nonschool hours.