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Our Latest Toolkit . . .

CATALYST! Successful Strategies to Empower Young Advocates

Catalyst Book Cover - Successful Strategies to Empower Young Advocates

CATALYST is the complete guide for intergenerational collaboration and advocacy on critical issues. This innovative, interactive  training manual covers the major challenges, including  how to:

  • Support youth taking the lead in changing community norms and policies
  • Obtain organizational backing for successful youth-driven initiatives
  • Develop advocacy strategies that dramatically increase the impact of young problem solvers

Each chapter introduces critical issues, summarizes key points, and raises central questions for you and your colleagues to write down ideas, weigh options, and reach consensus.

  • Arguments for authentic youth engagement to ensure meaningful organizational support
  • Exercises for adults to sharpen their catalytic skills to spark macro-level brainstorming
  • Methods to combine community service with youth-led efforts for systemic change
  • Ongoing outreach to recruit and retain young change agents
  • Art activism, social media and other tools to build momentum
  • Strategies—some overlooked or unconventional—to increase youth influence on public policy
  • Dozen interactive exercises with youth to close the generation gap and build solidarity
  • 50 stories—from school lunch and food deserts to safer streets and violence prevention—to inspire everyone that young advocates can achieve real change (Adult Allies page features several examples.)

Use this 75-page toolkit as your team playbook over and over again as news colleagues and other adults get involved. All the strategies and stories are designed to be adapted for immediate action, group breakouts, youth workshops, train-the-trainers, retreats and long-term planning.  CATALYST! is included with customized trainings facilitated by Wendy Lesko.

CATALYST!  Successful Strategies to Empower Young Advocates @ $60.00  (includes hardcopy in 3-ring binder and e-book plus free shipping). Use PAYPAL Buy Now button above or contact us at for purchase orders or bulk quantity discounts.


More than a dozen teenagers with our global action program, School Girls Unite in the U.S. and young women in Mali, West Africa, have written a powerful bilingual action guide full of unique and interesting stories and photographs that is guaranteed to inspire everyone to join the movement for girls rights and gender educational equality.

GIRLS GONE ACTIVIST! How to Change the World through Education describes key elements for starting a campaign plus many clever advocacy strategies including video petitions, street theater and lobbying elected officials.

Youth Today says, “This treasury of encouragement and strategies can serve as a handbook for any youth-led cause.”

Free e-book at
To order paperback ($12.00 plus $6 shipping) and discounts for bulk quantities, please email

KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF!  Training Teens to Be Successful Activists

The Complete Guide for Facilitating a 1-2 Hour Workshop

This interactive workshop developed by Wendy Lesko will inspire young people to make an impact in their corner of the world. The training package has everything but snacks (and socks)!
  • The 50-page facilitator’s manual contains a minute-by-minute script for both a 60-minute workshop and a longer version.
  • Skill-based activities are geared specifically for older teens plus there are separate age-appropriate materials for younger teens.
  • Reproducible handouts for participants, even pre- and post-assessment forms, are included.
  • Room setup, other logistics, training checklist all are spelled out.

Free download at our Youth Strategies page.  Please contact us to purchase ($30.00 plus $8 shipping) since online purchase is not available.


Refer to CATALYST! SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES TO EMPOWER YOUNG ADVOCATES. This new resource described above replaces this toolkit.

Maximum Youth Involvement: The Complete Gameplan for Community Action, a 170-page manual, answers nearly 100 questions on how adults and organizations can support young people as change agents. A 40-page Appendix includes reproducible checklists and skill-building activities.


Over 1/4 of the population – 26% – is under the age of 18. However, 26% remain unheard on many issues that affect them. Packed with true stories and original youth-produced exhibits, YOUTH! THE 26% SOLUTION outlines in a visually upbeat way how to identify and research an issue, build support, make a case, and succeed at getting decision-makers, from community leaders to state senators, to listen and respond to ideas for positive change. Co-authored by Wendy Lesko and 19-year-old Emanuel Tsourounis.

Free download on our Youth Strategies page.  Limited copies of this paperback available. Please contact us for more information.


America’s Young Activists Are Changing Our World and You Can Too

This book written in 1992 full of oral histories is out of print. A limited number of copies can be loaned out to organizations.