Step 3: Engage Young Community Leaders

Sustaining the FL Movement within local communities requires a core group of young leaders who not only believe in the FL Mission but also in creating a more prosperous and peaceful community.

While searching for young community leaders and potential enablers of community impact, FL will look for active citizens who take an interest in the well being of their communities and demonstrate a commitment to tackling problems to provide sustainable solutions. It is important that we identify individuals who have the motivation and capacity to be active within FL and the community, and also bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to addressing the challenges facing the community.

Characteristics of a Young Community Leader

  • Identified as a leader during Step 2: Connect with Community Stakeholder

  • Between the age of 25–32 to ensure the needed skill set and potential long-term commitment to the Community

  • Lived within the community for at least two years and is well connected to other individuals and civic Communities

  • Flexible with time in order to assist starting a new FL Community

  • Interest in sustainable Communities and building effective projects

  • Open minded about new opportunities and willing to explore new ideas

  • Energetic, passionate, knowledgeable and sociable

Actions to Engage Young Community Leaders:

1. Review the outcomes of your stakeholder meetings to create a list of potential young community leaders who could be the successful foundation for the new Local Community.

List of Potential Leaders: While you only need to engage at least five young leaders, developing a list of at least 10 young people would be helpful since chances are not all of them can or will commit to helping start the new FL Community.

2. Organize a meeting with the leaders identified to introduce the idea of creating a new FL Community in the local community and communicate how they have been identified as a potential leader of this new Community. (It may help to mention that the mayor or other leaders recognized them)

3. Garner commitments from at least five young community leaders to not only be members of the new Local Community but also to help spread the word and start the new Local Community.

Garner Commitments: Acquiring commitments might require you to continually communicate with each individual to ensure they understand their role as an agent of change within the Local Community and the community. This is important, as you will probably not get all five commitments at once. Since it is recommended that you need five committed young leaders before moving forward, it is recommended that you and your committee think of creative ways to keep them engaged.

4. Maintain engaging with leaders as you garner commitments through empowering and inspirational activities that include:

  • Invite them to attend the meetings of nearby existing FL Communities to learn more about the Community and how it operates.

  • Organize meetings with local, regional and national leaders to showcase the young leaders commitment to enable FL to exist within their local community.

  • Invite the individuals to join you during your stakeholder meetings to learn more about the community’s needs, identify other young leaders to take on the role as a founding member of the FL Community.

  • Invite the young leaders to participate in FL events, projects and activities hosted by other existing FL Communities.

  • Give the individuals the responsibility to continue investigating the community’s needs so that they can begin formulating relevant projects and activities to get the new Community started.

Next Step: It is important that at least five young community leaders have been identified and have expressed their commitment to help start the FL Community in the community before moving forward. Once they have engaged with the FL Movement, the next step is to empower them to unite young active citizens in the community to establish the FL Community.

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