A Girls Who LEAP exploration of youth leadership
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This cocreated research inquiry, which aimed to support young people in reclaiming their voice and authority as knowledge holders and leaders in their community, explored the question: How do young people in Girls Who LEAP (GWL) organization understand leadership? Using a decolonized methodological approach pairing Indigenous methodology with youth participatory action research, this inquiry engaged 18 young people. Data were gathered through narrative métissage, sticky notes, and sharing circles. Given the relational approach of engaging the community was foundational in all aspects of this inquiry, a community inquiry team and youth research advisory team were critical in this study. Key learnings highlighted the relationships between adult-youth mentor relationships, experiential learning, cultivating a sense of belonging and the impact of values identification in youth leadership development. The recommended call to action from the young people includes the creation of a new GWL youth leadership framework to be implemented by the organization.