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SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Youth Ages 15-16



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 15-16

Characteristics of Age Group Implications for SPIN Clubs
  • Are very concerned with themselves and their peers; acceptance by the opposite sex may become important.
  • Expect some attention-seeking behavior as they look for acceptance from the opposite sex. Working in small groups continues to be important so consider co-ed groups.
  • Enjoy new ways of doing things as they master abstract thinking; they may challenge adults as they test these new skills.
  • Allow youth to plan activities and take responsibility for a meeting or event. Form committees to plan community service or social activities.
  • Want to set their own goals.
  • Provide opportunities for group to select learning activities and set goals.
  • Need less supervision as they become more independent.
  • Understand that the volunteer’s role may become more of an advisor or coach as work groups become more independent.
  • Are ready for leadership roles as they become aware of their interests, talents, skills, and abilities.
  • Provide opportunities for them to give leadership to the group, such as chairing a committee to plan a service project or a culminating event.

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