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TOWARD A BLUEPRINT
A NATIONAL PRIORITY
A collaboration to promote
and support young people
as resources and leaders
for our communities
This statement of principles for the positive
America's youth reflects the combined thoughts and
support of youth-serving program officials in a broad
range of Federal Departments, non-profit organizations,
advocacy organizations, intergovernmental associations and
others, many of whom collaborated directly on this document.
(A complete list of supporting organizations is at the end.)
WHAT IS POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT?
Positive youth development is an approach toward all youth that builds on their assets and their potential and helps counter the problems that may affect them. Growing up can be tough for everyone, but young people are far more likely to succeed if they are active participants in decision-making that affects their lives and their communities.
Key elements of positive youth development are:
THE TIME IS RIGHT
Todays young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, government agencies, national youth-serving organizations, foundations and the business community are working together with a shared vision for the youth of our Nation:
Every young person's contributions will be valued today, and he or she will grow up with the hope, opportunity and support needed for successful adulthood.
No one sector, acting alone, can ensure that all young people acquire the competencies, character, and protection they need to seize the opportunities that lie ahead. The time is right to make youth development a national priority, and the organizations that helped develop this publication pledge to do their part. They are committed to working together to:
HOW POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Reflections from Young People
"The program helped me with the toughest issueknowing who I am and what I am."
"You brought out the best in me when I didnt know there was a best. So now when I imagine how big is my future, I know its as large as your love."
"I realize now that the program did not just offer me services and funds; it offered me a life."
"I am proud to say that I will be returning to school in the fall to finish my high school education. I'm not saying I don't make mistakes, but it's good to know that I have support when I do."
"If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be here right now."
WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT?
HOW CAN I SUPPORT POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT?
PROMOTING POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative: This unprecedented joint effort among the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, Labor, and Health and Human Services helps communities design comprehensive educational, mental health, social, and juvenile justice services for youth. The services help young people develop the social skills and resilience necessary to avoid risky behaviors.
Girl Power!: This national public education campaign is sponsored by HHS and helps encourage and empower 9- to 14-year-old girls to make the most of their lives, providing positive messages, accurate health information, and support for girls and those who care about them.
21st Century Community Learning Centers: The U.S. Department of Education and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation have entered into a partnership to keep inner city and rural public schools open after regular school hours for enhanced learning and developmental opportunities. Schools, members of the National Collaboration for Youth, and other community-based organizations work together on this initiative.
4H Clubs: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Cooperative Extension System, since 1902 the 4H Clubs have offered activities and opportunities for growth, learning, and community involvement to youth in every county of the Nation.
National Youth Network and National Organizations for Youth Safety: With support from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation, these groups give youth an active role in the formulation of policies affecting them.
AmeriCorps: Of the more than 40,000 AmeriCorps members, most are young and in organizations focused on serving youth or engaging young people themselves to serve others. A special partnership between the Corporation for National Service and Americas Promise supports 500 AmeriCorps Promise Fellows to give leadership to the Promise campaign in communities across the country.
Neighborhood Networks: This project of the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides nearly 1,000 multi-service computer technology community learning centers in public and low-income housing nationwide to teach computer literacy for 21st Century careers.
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF): Nationwide, 35 percent of children receiving child care subsidies through the CCDF are school-aged. This program, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also supports quality improvement activities such as professional development initiatives for staff in after-school programs.
ORGANIZATIONS ENDORSING THESE PRINCIPLES:
Americas PromiseThe Alliance for Youth
William T. Grant Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
of State Governments
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
International Youth Foundation
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
National Collaboration for Youth
Alliance for Children and Families
American Camping Association
American Red Cross
Association of Junior Leagues International
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Boy Scouts of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Camp Fire USA (formerly Camp Fire Boys and Girls)
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Child Welfare League of America
Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Communities in Schools
Families, 4-H and Nutrition
Girl Scouts of the USA
Hostelling InternationalAmerican Youth Hostels
Joint Action in Community Service
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
National Crime Prevention Council
National 4-H Council
National Mental Health Association
The National Mentoring Partnership
National Network for Youth
National Urban League
The Salvation Army
Save the Children
United Way of America
Volunteers of America
Women in Community Service
YMCA of the USA
Youth Law Center
YWCA of the USA
National Organizations for Youth Safety
National Training Institute for Community Youth Work
Young Adult Library Services Association
Youth Service America
for National Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Family and Youth Services Bureau
For more information about youth and positive youth development, go to the following web site: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/fysb/youthinfo