While governments and donors are working to address persistent education and youth-related problems, young people are rarely consulted or asked for their ideas about how to improve problems that impact their everyday lives. When it comes to school dropout, for example, adults often believe that they know why students leave school. Even when youth are asked about the reasons, often through surveys, the process is controlled by adults, which limits youth perspectives.

Youth Speak is designed to address this gap by enabling young people who are personally affected by dropout or any other youth-related challenge to lead and carry out an investigation of the situation with their peers and other stakeholders. It allows for their perspectives to be collected and clearly presented. In short, Youth Speak is an activity carried out by youth, with youth and for youth.

Youth Speak actively integrates the three forces of autonomy, mastery and purpose to catalyze and sustain intrinsic motivation. While these three forces are the foundation for intrinsic motivation, two other conditions are essential parts of Youth Speak.

First, when these three principles are applied in an environment of authentic, consistent and persistent care by all youth and adults for each other, everyone, especially young people, will learn quickly, collaborate effectively, persist in achieving excellence, create innovative solutions to problems, follow-through on their responsibilities, produce quality results, be proud of their work and have fun. Second, in addition to a culture of care, this creates a culture of questioning, inquiry and discovery.

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