Youth capacity building refers to the practice of developing the skills and potential of youth to take the lead in their own development and the development of their communities by enhancing their expertise and awareness about relevant issues and their community, such as youth training on cultural diversity.
Investment in youth capacity building creates strong youth leaders in communities. Creating space for youth to take ownership in their own lives and in the life of the community in which they're a part is essential in creating a healthy, well-rounded community. It is especially important to foster youth capacity building in a diverse group of young people in order that the future community will have a diverse group of leaders with diverse perspectives.
The Boys and Girls Club of Goshen offers opportunities for youth to build and discover thier own capacities. One way in which this capacity-building is fostered is the Youth of the Year program. It is a program facilitated by the Boys and Girls Club of America and with which the local Club participates. Club members can enter to win scholarships for schooling and in order to do this they collect refferences and complete a set number of volunteer hours. They then give a three minute speech about that the Club means to them. The Goshen Club has had finalists at the county and the state levels. At each level of competition (county, state, and national) more scholorship money is offered to Club members aspiring to go to college. This is one example of how the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen participates in building youth capacity.