Founded in the principles of purposeful play, leading with youth, and the development and encouragement of emotional, personal, and interpersonal skills, the Youth Development program prepares professional youth workers to enter careers in after-school programs, juvenile justice centers, governmental institutions, and recreation centers, among others. The program is currently being offered at Rhode Island College, where students complete courses in education, social work, and nonprofit studies, in addition to completing courses related to the concentration or minor of choice. During their senior year, students get to practice the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom by interning for a youth organization or youth service site and by developing educational and purposeful programs for said organizations. The main focus of this major is to train individuals in the theories and best practices of the rapidly growing youth development profession. Youth Development promotes the creation of safe environments where young people are allowed to offer their opinions and conceptions about the world; places where supportive and lasting relationships are fostered and leadership abilities are encouraged, and where informal learning helps educate the youth about ideals of justice, community, and democratic practices.