Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Genuine Commitment to Young People

We know what it takes for young people to achieve success. Extensive research from a variety of sources cite the following critical factors of positive youth development:
  • Good adult role models, ideally parents and family members
  • Basic needs adequately met
  • Physical and emotional health care
  • opportunities to develop interpersonal and social skills
  • meaningful chances to both participate and lead
  • an educational system that responds to the individualized needs and that challenges them
  • exposure to the world of work and the chance to develop the skills to be successful

Where we seem to fall short is the community wide commitment to a LONG TERM effort to prepare all young people for college, work, and life by the time they reach young adulthood.

What will it take to secure that commitment--from all sectors of our community? What do you think?


  1. I don't know. I have thought of this for many years. We know what it takes, but that doesn't mean our legislators know, or are able to keep it as high enough priority to make a difference. We cut the educational budgets.

    Frankly, our obsession with our own adult strivings keep us from doing what is needed for our young.

  2. good point, Ray. We often hear folks say "children and youth are our Number One priority" but words and actions oftentimes seem NOT to mesh.

  3. I think the best way to keep the message alive is to make sure it resonates with all of the different sectors - which means communicating it in different ways to different folks. Businesses have to see how it affects them - and they can only really "see" it if it's communicated to them in their language. It also has to continue to be communicated as a national imperative, not something "nice to do." I think policies will have to reflect these priorities better too - we need more policies that support communities positively impacting young people!