About Us


Young people with the power and voice to shape the future of Hampton


To continually engage young people in meaningful opportunities and roles throughout the community that enhance their academic learning and pique their interest to discover more about themselves and their future pathway to work and community involvement

What is Youth Engagement?

Youth engagement is an intentional process of involving youth in their own learning as they share, cooperate, and contribute to a common good. It involves adults working in partnership with youth to achieve an intended goal, both personal, for the youth, and communal for the community at-large.

Roles can include the opportunity to serve in the following areas: input and consultation peer education & mentoring, service learning projects, service projects, youth activism, youth in governance, youth media, youth philanthropy.

What is the history of Youth Engagement in Hampton?

In 1990, the Hampton Coalition for Youth was formed to ensure that the city’s young people would successfully become the workforce and community leaders of the 21st century. Concerned with quality of life and economic development issues, the mayor and city council of Hampton wanted to explore options that would, in a time of diminishing resources and increasing stress on families, focus on the needs of children. To do this, they felt that engaging youth to get their input was key to the process.

The initial work of the Coalition for Youth resulted in a Plan of Action became the first City Plan addressing the needs of young people. Included was a policy statement with six commitments—Appreciation of Diversity, Care and Nurturing, Safety, Health, Education, and Partnership in the Community. This last commitment has become the foundation of the city’s youth civic engagement.

View timeline of Youth Engagement in Hampton.

What is the Youth Component of the Community Plan?

With firm support and through some re-allocation of resources, two young people were hired in the Planning department as the first Youth Planners. From their work these Youth Planners determined the need to employ to two essential methods: the development of a Youth Component to the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan (1989), and the creation of a Youth Commission with the authority to represent youth issues and the power to appropriate funds.

Youth Engagement includes but is not limited to the following areas:

  • Youth Civic Engagement
  • Career & Work Readiness
  • Academic Support