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SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Youth Ages 17-18



Authors as Published

Jeremy Johnson, Associate Specialist for Volunteer Development for Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech

While young people learn at their own rate and in their own way, they typically share some common characteristics during certain stages of development. It’s important to consider those characteristics as you begin planning learning activities for your club.

Ages 17-18
Characteristics of Age Group Implications for SPIN Clubs
  • Are focused on the future as they begin to transition to adult life.
  • Provide opportunities for them to explore possible careers or adult roles.
  • Become independent as they make choices, explore options, and determine their own schedule.
  • Suggest advanced learning activities that require research and creativity to demonstrate to them and others what they can accomplish. Youth can identify a topic of interest and independently explore the topic.
  • May drop out of groups they have been active in to explorenewinterests.
  • Let them know that you are available if needed. Encourage them in their exploration. Help them stay connected to personal values.
  • Develop close relationships. Acceptance by the opposite sex is increasingly important.
  • Provide learning activities that include social interaction with peers and adults. Planning for special events in their lives is important during this time.
  • Want leadership roles and a voice in planning programs.
  • Provide opportunities for them to teach others what they have learned, mentor younger children, lead a group, or speak to a community group.

Adapted with permission from University of Illinois Cooperative Extension
*18 U.S.C. 707

Produced by Communications and Marketing, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2016

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Publication Date

September 1, 2022