Video – Connecting with Kids

Getting middle school and high school students engaged in local businesses, organizations and their future

Don’t call it Brain Drain!

Connect with middle school and high school kids

Help them shape the future of your town 

A diverse group of young women in a rural setting

Do these problems sound familiar:

Kids aren’t involved in anything but school 

Kids graduate and move away

Kids compare our small town with the big city — they want the impossible

You might see yourself or people you know in these three real examples of adults trying to engage kids in their communities: 

  • Kevin owns his own retail store. He started as an intern in the business himself, but he’s not sure how to repeat that today. How can he find the right young person to run the business in the future?
  • Mary is the executive director of a chamber of commerce. She would love to have more young people involved in activities but has to work with a formal organizational structure that kids find boring. How can she get students involved in creating the events and activities that make the town come alive? 
  • Jerry is an economic developer of the old school, but open to new ideas. He gets asked all the time about “youth retention” and “brain drain.” How would he even involve students in his economic development work?

Together, we’ll uncover the missing Idea Friendly principles that involve young people in their future. 

  • How to get students involved in the community outside of school
  • How you can engage kids so they don’t graduate and immediately move away
  • How to reach the students who are on a path to get stuck in dead-end jobs
  • How kids can be involved in co-creating projects and events without spending hours on boring committee meetings
  • How to get students more involved than just serving out their assigned volunteer hours

You’ll learn what we’ve learned from hundreds of students 

  1. Why pop up and temporary events matter more to kids than adults
  2. How to figure out what kids are really asking for, the real motivation behind seemingly impossible requests
  3. Why it’s wrong to tell kids what won’t work, and what to say instead
  4. The secret social skills kids already have that you can help them adapt to bigger ideas
  5. How to find the kids with hidden entrepreneurial talent and uncover your future business leaders

We’ll share both the adult and the student perspective on the problems, so you can see both sides of the divide.

You’ll follow those three real world examples of engaging kids, from problem to Idea Friendly solution.

When kids ask for impossible goals like chain restaurants or expensive rec facilities, you’ll learn how to hear what they’re really asking for, how to scale it down to a do-able level, and how to create it together.

Video available to members only