Youth today make up 25% of our total U.S. population. Youth come into the world with the compassion, creativity and energy to help make a difference, but they are often discouraged from community participation. Only 1 in 4 children perceive that they are valued by the adults in their community. Only 28% of youth feel that they are given useful roles in their community. On average, youth experience 19 of the 40 developmental assets and only 11% of youth experience at least 31 of the 40 assets, which is the level that correlates with thriving and decreased high-risk behavior. (Search Institute)
From bullying to gang violence, substance addiction to suicide, our youth are at risk of feeling disconnected, unsafe, undervalued and disempowered in their schools and communities. These statistics surface a disconnect between youth and adults in communities across America and an opportunity to better equip youth with the developmental assets, relationships and experiences they need to thrive today and in the future.
Team Kids’ programs are designed to promote healthy attitudes and behavior in our youth and build the skills to become thriving adults. Team Kids increases the confidence of our young citizens by emphasizing their importance to society and their ability to make a difference regardless of age or socioeconomic status. Team Kids brings participants hands-on, service-based lessons, which build empathy, leadership, collaboration, creative problem-solving, prosocial behavior, and also connect them to real-world issues. Through an innovative public-private partnership, Team Kids nurtures the innate compassion of our youth, gives them the opportunity to improve the lives of others today and encourages them to become the leaders, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists of tomorrow.
An external evaluation by WestED determined that after participating in Team Kids Challenge Programs, children have:
- Stronger feelings of self-efficacy
- More confidence in their own capacity to be a leader
- A stronger desire to help others
- Stronger feelings of empathy
- Improved perceptions of being an important contributor to their school and their community
We are all stakeholders in our children’s futures. Please take a moment to learn more about the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Asset Research and how Team Kids is committed to strengthening them in our children and communities.