Community-based prevention programs strive to foster the composition of positive life stories, in part, by promoting active participation in community settings. This article used life narratives of youth to explore the experience of community participation and showed how such participation influenced their lives. Youth aged 18–19 years who participated in Better Beginning, Better Futures (n=62), a community-based prevention program, when they were aged 4–8 years, recounted stories of their lives that showed significantly higher levels of participation in community programs and greater personal impacts of that involvement compared with youth who were not involved in Better Beginnings (n=34). Qualitative analysis of a subsample of these youth (n=34) revealed individual and community characteristics that were instrumental in fostering positive outcomes of community participation. The findings indicated both the utility of using a narrative approach to evaluate community-based prevention programs and the value of community participation for children and youth. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.