Wakonda Logo

Everyone has the power to help young people succeed

The secret to helping children and youth grow into happy, healthy, and responsible adults isn’t really a secret at all. Simply make a point to connect with young people: Get to know them, talk to them, understand them, help them, and build relationships with them. As a caring, trusted adult, you’ll be better able to provide the building blocks young people need to succeed and reach their goals. Adult role models, guides, and friends are very important to young people. With your help, young people can begin to understand themselves and the world around them. We all know growing up isn’t always easy. That’s why young people need adults like you in their lives.

Research from Search Institute identifies 40 Developmental Assets that have a powerful, positive impact on young people. Children and teenagers who have high levels of these assets get involved in fewer risky behaviors and are much more likely to exhibit the positive values, such as leadership, good health, diversity, and success in school. We all have the power to build assets in young people’s lives.

Understanding Developmental Assets

The eight asset categories Search Institute has found crucial in helping young people grow up healthy:

support graphicSupport: Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them.

empowerment graphic Empowerment: Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.

boundaries graphicBoundaries and Expectations: Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking rules, and encouragement to do their best.

use of time graphic Constructive Use of Time: Young people need opportunities—outside of school—to learn and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.

commitment to learn graphicCommitment to Learning: Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.

positive values graphicPositive Values: Young people need to develop strong guiding values to help them make healthy life choices.

social competencies graphicSocial Competencies: Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions, and to cope with new situations.

positive identity graphicPositive Identity: Young people need to believe in their own self-worth and to feel they have control over the things that happen to them.