The best we can do for our young people is to place them in safe, respectful environments where they are given the opportunity to develop a sense of a competence, usefulness, belonging and empowerment. While individual schools and programs can provide youth development activities, our approach works best when entire communities including young people are involved in creating a continuum of services and opportunities that youth need to grow into happy and healthy adults.
We begin with the assumption that our country’s youth are a valued and respected asset to society. Families, teachers, administrators, and the community should all be involved in the intellectual, social/emotional, and moral development of our young people. In addition to academics, schools should provide students with opportunities to enhance their students self-esteem, competence, and character. All students should be afforded the chance to feel they belong. This means providing them a bully-free place in which to learn and grow.