Using Personal Experiences to Guide Decision-Making

A strength of Youth Advisory Councils (YACs) is that youth can draw on their own experiences to provide background and bring unique, personal perspectives to their work. By sharing experiences, youth help frame the challenges faced so others can understand and explore the solutions that best support young people.

As a youth advisory council member, youth bring useful experiences to the work of the council, but it is important to note that youth experiences could be different from other members.

YACs should respect the different experiences, thoughts, worldviews, and backgrounds that each member brings to the table.

Each member’s views are unique and do not represent the experiences of all youth.

Multi-ethnic students discussing plan
By considering diverse perspectives, youth can make decisions and create programs that address the needs of more students in a school or district.
  • It is important to consider the experiences of all affected by the issue—including those whose experiences differ.
  • This will help to build the YAC’s identity and reputation and better support all students across the school or district.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Personal experience is just one piece of the puzzle. YAC members should balance real-world experiences with data and information on the issues that affect the larger community. This approach helps focus not only on their concerns, but also the challenges that others face.

To improve chances for success, YACs should use facts, data, and other forms of information, along with experiences, to guide decisions that align with their goals, objectives, and programs.

Data Decision Making infographic