Program Impacts

Youth Benefits

Through EYPC, participating youth gain important research, analytical, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills, and most importantly, valuable real-world experience.

Youth work on real social and community change projects such as smoke-free public spaces, healthier school foods, greenways and parks, safer public events, and others.

EYPC’s results are impressive. Since 2005, EYPC youth-led groups have created smoke-free public places, safer parties and gatherings, restricted alcohol use at community events, and much more.

Youth who participate in EYPC report positive personal effects

  • Stronger bonds to their community
  • More confidence in themselves and their skills beyond EYPC
  • Relationships with caring adults who value their input


Kyle M. Bennett, Jeanna M. Campbell, and Scott P. Hays (2022). “Engaging Youth for Positive Change: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Site Level Program Implementation & Outcomes.” Children and Youth Services Review Vol. 141.

This article presents a site-level assessment of a civic engagement program geared towards middle and high school students.

Bennett, K. M., & Hays, S. P. (2022). “Engaging Youth for Positive Change: A Quantitative Analysis of Participant Outcomes.” Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 0(0).

This article discusses EYPC in detail, findings from analyses and program evaluation, and concludes with a discussion on next steps regarding how EYPC and similar programs may enhance civic engagement among youth and young adult populations.

Scott Hays, Peter Mulhall, Bala Mutuyala, and Barbara Roth (2017). Engaging Youth for Positive Change: Impacts and Outcomes. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago IL.

This evaluation paper was presented at the Midwest Political Science Annual Convention in 2017.

Scott P. Hays (2017). “Engaging Youth for Positive Change Creates a Winning Partnership for Health.” Illinois Parks & Recreation Magazine, May-June 2017, 16-18.

Contact Scott Hays to request a written copy of this article.

Cooper, Daniel and Scott P. Hays (2007). “Engaging Youth for Positive Change: A Critical Analysis of Case Studies on Local Action.” Children, Youth and Environments 17(2), 433-453.

An observation-based assessment of EYPC implementation at 4 Illinois sites that was part of the early-phase, developmental evaluation of EYPC.

Program Results

See how EYPC is impacting youth and communities around you.

About the program

The EYPC program is a civic-engagement program that guides youth (aged 13-18) through the process of getting a policy, ordinance, or resolution passed in their community. Youth involved in EYPC will bring about positive change in their community by exploring an issue and the change they want to make, engaging in data collection and analysis to develop their message, spreading their work and engaging the community in support, and working with decision-makers to enact real change.

Facilitator Training

Thanks to the generous support of the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, all EYPC trainings and all materials necessary to deliver the program are provided to you at no cost.

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