Why a Youth Development Focus?

Mapping community assets
A positive youth development approach focuses on building community assets that support youth in their healthy development.

This month, I am celebrating the 20th anniversary of my business, The Skills Library, with a series of posts about my work. This work continues to be exciting, with one project always leading to another.   I have active projects right now with youth employment programs, career/vocational technical education programs, adult education, special education and more.  I pair this with active community involvement with children’s programs, parks and community gardening, church networks and more.   All of these projects share a “positive youth development” focus: work that creates the type of community that supports both youth and adults in healthy, positive development.

One of my early projects was with the Massachusetts Promise Youth Summit, an offshoot of the America’s Promise Alliance led by General Colin Powell in the 1990s. America’s Promise focused on building community assets in support of youth development. A cornerstone of that work was the importance of focusing on assets more than on deficits in communities.   When youth grow up seeing adults who contribute to their communities, who own and manage businesses in the community, who build parks and community gardens and sports programs, who participate in arts and music, and who offer opportunities for youth to get involved as well, youth will feel supported and nurtured in their own development.

The asset-based focus resonated with me then and continues to be a strong focus of my work.

Read more about The Skills Library on my website at http://skillslibrary.com and stay tuned for additional posts in celebration of this anniversary.

About America’s Promise
The America’s Promise Alliance has continued and is now (like me!) celebrating 20 years of work. Read more about them at the http://americaspromise.org website.
America Promise
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