United Church of Christ Logo
United Church of Christ Seal

Youth - Asset Building Info & Links

The Connection between Outreach, Community Events and Asset Building

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development that all of us have the power to bring into the lives of children and teenagers. These 40 developmental assets have grown out of extensive research on positive relationships, experiences, opportunities, and personal qualities that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. They are organized into eight categories:

  • Support – Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, appreciate, and accept them.
  • Empowerment – Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.
  • Boundaries and Expectations – Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences, and encouragement to do their best.
  • Constructive Use of Time – Young people need opportunities –outside of school– to enjoy themselves, develop new skills, and build positive relationships with other youth and adults.
  • Commitment to Learning – Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.
  • Positive Values – Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy life choices.
  • Social Competencies – Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others and cope with new situations.
  • Positive Identity – Young people need a sense of their self-worth, power, purpose, and promise.

The more of these assets young people have, the better off they will be. The wonderful thing about assets is that everyone can build them. Congregations, youth-serving organizations, families, communities, and others all play an important role in guiding and nurturing young people to be healthy and caring.

In our congregation, adults , children and youth have key roles in every stage of the planning process and in carrying out outreach projects and community events. Youth and older children work along side younger children as partners and mentors. Adult mentors are also key.

Through outreach projects and intergenerational community events, our congregation:

  • Nurtures intergenerational relationships
  • Teaches youth and children to serve, lead, contribute,
  • Shapes young people’s identity, values, beliefs, and commitments to guide their choices.
  • And provides constructive, enriching activities.