Core Elements

Participant elements (these can be adapted to participants of all ages)

  • Youth choose to participate.
  • Youth participate in teams (usually of 6 to 8 people).
  • Youth choose issues through a deliberative process.
  • Issues are grounded in the passions, values, and interests of the team.
  • Team actions are real work – they take place over time (several months or longer), involve many steps, and have identifiable results or products.
  • Young people use evaluation to learn from experiences, including successes and failures.
  • Teams meet formally at least once a week.

Project elements

  • Projects must be legal.
  • Projects must be non-violent.
  • Projects must contribute in some way to the public good.

Coach elements

  • Coaches are guides and facilitators, not leaders, mentors, or directors; the coach time commitment is typically 3 to 5 hours per week.
  • Coaches help teams do their public work, learn from their tasks, and identify key concepts (e.g. democracy, public work, and citizenship). Coaches help their teams link theory to practice.
  • Coaches participate in training sessions that involve skill development, organizing methods, understanding theory, and an orientation to the Public Achievement site.
  • A coach coordinator supports and supervises the work of coaches; creates an accountability structure, and works in partnership with the site coordinator.

Site elements

  • Sites see Public Achievement as a way to implement or pursue their core mission and values.
  • Site coordinators integrate Public Achievement into the site culture, coordinate logistics, help teams continue their work outside of formal Public Achievement meetings, and help make Public Achievement work visible.
  • Sites see themselves as leaders in the movement to strengthen and invigorate democracy.