Positive Youth Development in Colombia: Reflections on a Cross-cultural Collaboration Desarrollo juvenil positivo en Colombia: Reflexiones a partir de una colaboración transcultural
This paper shares the story and reflections of an international collaboration aimed at cross-culturally adapting the United Future Leaders (UFL) program, originally developed in the United States (U.S.), for Colombian youth. The paper provides a comprehensive description of how the collaboration has unfolded from three perspectives: Conceptual (theoretical), functional (program adaptation), and reflective (insights from the collaboration team). Rooted in Lerner’s and Lerner’s Positive Youth Development model, UFL provides participants with an active learning experience focused on developing leadership competencies that promote the development of character, ethics, and civility. For the adaptation study, two schools (one public and one private) were chosen to represent the general population of the city of Medellín (Colombia). The paper describes how UFL is delivered in the U.S., the research activities that were undertaken to ensure methodological rigor for the adaptation process and the content and implementation of the pilot activities. Subsequently, the collaboration team reflects on the different perceptions and understandings of what it means to establish a PYD program such as UFL in Medellin, Colombia. Finally, it is discussed how adapting and implementing programs guided by PYD principles is a promising approach for Colombian youth.