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Friday, July 21, 2006

Asset-Rich Youth

This week I facilitated a developmental asset training for a "Student to Student" peer helping group in New Richmond, Wisconsin. If you're unfamiliar with the 40 Assets, Search Institute identified 40 qualities that help youth grow up happy, healthy and resilient. These assets help us to look at what's right about youth, rather than what's wrong with them. I'll introduce individual assets periodically in future posts, but the eight categories are:

Support, Empowerment, Boundaries and Expectations, Constructive Use of Time, Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies, Positive Identity

The New Richmond STS-ers are already quite well-versed on the assets -- they even teach the assets to freshman students during homerooms -- but the refresher is good, even for veterans. We discussed risky-behaviors and which assets might help youth to stay away from them, we played the Hidden Treasure of Assets boardgame, and they organized the freshman activities they'd facilitate throughout the year.

But for me, the best part of these trainings is the charge I get every time I witness the unending stream of creative, positive leadership. And it's coming from teenagers.

It's the kind of thing that gives you hope for the world.


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