Youth Assets Highlight
One of the strongest assets youth can build is that of a feeling of purpose. The 40 Developmental Assets framework lists “Youth As Resources” as integral to developing a feeling of empowerment in our youth.
Adolescents and teens who are encouraged to become positive forces in their community are more likely to have higher self-esteem, feel they are making a difference, and engage in volunteerism.
Wasilla Middle School NJHS students volunteer at 2020 Project Homeless Connect. 
What talents, skills, knowledge or ideas do your children, students, friends or neighbors who are young people?
Thrive Mat-Su strives to build healthy assets for our youth! Our Youth Retreat invites local youth to use their voices to promote positive change and teaches skills they can bring back to their peers. Youth volunteers from around the community give their time to a variety of events and service projects, and our Youth Assets Committee is always at work identifying ways to strengthen youth’s role in our community.
Tips for starting the conversation: 
In your home and family: Invite your child to help you plan a party or other event. Ask for her or his opinions about the theme, menu, and guests.
In your neighborhood and community: Choose a community issue important to you and gather the opinions of both young people and adults. When the time for action arrives, enlist the help of those who share your passion.
In your school or youth program: Ask students and participants to find newspaper stories or images that grab their attention. In groups, talk about the topics they identified. Brainstorm ways for them to get involved and use their voices in positive ways, such as writing or e-mailing a letter to the editor, calling a legislator, attending a meeting, or forming a group.
To learn more about this and other Youth Assets, visit
(Excerpts appearing here are courtesy of Positive Youth Development of Erie County.)