This is a great article that explains how liberating youth to pursue what interests them has enormous benefits.
In 1992, Milkman and a team of researchers won a $1.2 million grant to form something called Project Self Discovery. The program targeted kids 14 and up who weren’t in need of treatment but had started getting into trouble. Project Self Discovery was built around the idea of letting kids pick what they wanted to learn — it could be martial arts, dancing or boxing. They also included a life skills class that helped kids change the way they saw themselves and how they interacted with others.