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Youth Resilience Corps: An Innovative Model to Engage Youth in Building Disaster Resilience

  • Joie Acosta (a1), Vivian Towe (a1), Anita Chandra (a1) and Ramya Chari (a1)



Despite the growing awareness that youth are not just passive victims of disaster but can contribute to a community’s disaster resilience, there have been limited efforts to formally engage youth in strengthening community resilience. The purpose of this brief report was to describe the development of a Youth Resilience Corps, or YRC (ie, a set of tools to engage young people in youth-led community resilience activities) and the findings from a small-scale pilot test.


The YRC was developed with input from a range of government and nongovernmental stakeholders. We conducted a pilot test with youth in Washington, DC, during summer 2014. Semi-structured focus groups with staff and youth surveys were used to obtain feedback on the YRC tools and to assess what participants learned.


Focus groups and youth surveys suggested that the youth understood resilience concepts, and that most youth enjoyed and learned from the components.


The YRC represent an important first step toward engaging youth in building disaster resilience, rather than just focusing on this group as a vulnerable population in need of special attention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:47–50)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Joie Acosta, PhD, RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes St, Arlington, VA 22202 (e-mail:


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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
  • URL: /core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness
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