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Pursuing Interests and Getting Involved: Exploring the Conditions of Sponsorship in Youth Learning

Sat, April 6, 12:20 to 1:50pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 700 Level, Room 713A


The phenomenon of “brokering” is now well known in the field of learning and youth development as an integral part of how and why youth pursue and remain in particular interest-related learning opportunities. More recently, the related term “sponsorship” refers to the multiple ways in which youth experience brokering-like moments related to their interests. In this paper, we leverage a longitudinal data set collected over three years to retrospectively understand sponsorship within the existing conditions of young people’s lives. Findings suggest that interest itself was often not the primary mediator within youths’ conditions of sponsorship, but rather that youth joined activities based on existing material needs, social connections, and perceived future benefice.