A Coalition Connecting our Community for Youth.

Community for youth.

The 40 Developmental Assets

The 5 Promises and the 40 Assets work together.  The 5 Promises are more broad and the 40 Assets are more specific.  In our community we choose to focus on the 40 Assets.  The 5 Promises provide many additional resources, but the 40 Assets provides a more specific way to build the Assets and Promises in our youth.

Assets and Promises Working Together

The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets framework works well with America’s Promise Alliance’s Five Promises by expanding the promises into manageable action areas. The 5 Promises are the needs and the 40 Assets are the how to reach those needs. Our community decided to work with the 40 Developmental Assets in an effort to make changes regarding attitudes and behaviors of youth and towards youth. We find that the 40 Assets are more specific in defining the 5 Promises and there for we use the 40 Developmental Assets as our common language and terminology.

5 Promises and 40 Assets

Asset Information Headquarters

The Search Institute, a Minneapolis based organization researched what youth need to succeed and become confident and caring adults. Based on its findings from 1 million youth, the Search Institute identified 40 Developmental Assets. The more assets a young person has the more tools they have to help them succeed. Each asset is not mutually exclusive. If you build one asset you will build more.

Anyone can build Assets. All 40 Assets are put into the eight categories listed below.

1. Support—Young people need to be surrounded by people who love. care for, appreciate, and accept them.

2. Empowerment—Young people need to feel valued, and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.

3. Boundaries and Expectations—Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking rules, and encouragement to do their best.

4. Constructive Use of Time—Young people need opportunities-outside of school-to learn, and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.

5. Commitment to Learning—Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.

6. Positive Values—Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy life choices.

7. Social Competencies—Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions, and to cope with new situations.

8. Positive Identity—Young people need to believe in their own self-worth and to feel that they have control over the things that happen to them.

*Taken from “The Asset Approach” produced by Search Institute.

Click here to find out more:

Search Institute

Complete 40 Assets


America’s Promise Alliance:

The America’s Promise Alliance grew out of the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997.  At that gathering in Philadelphia, Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford (with Nancy Reagan representing President Reagan), challenged America to make children and youth a national priority. The Summit - which was also attended by nearly 30 governors, 100 mayors, 145 community delegations, and prominent business leaders. Retired General Colin L. Powell became the Alliance’s Founding Chairman. Today, Alma Powell serves as Chair of the Alliance.

Since 1997, the America’s Promise Alliance has grown to become the nation’s largest multi-sector Alliance focused on the well-being of young people. Today, the Alliance encompasses more than 105 partner organizations representing the business community, nonprofits, communities and policymakers. Building on the legacy of our founder, General Colin Powell, we are the leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed – the Five Promises (caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others) – at home, in school and out in the community. Through increasing awareness, advocating for children and engaging in a few powerful initiatives, we use the strength of our partnership network to more effectively and strategically bring the power of the Five Promises to America’s children – enabling them to have the resources they need to lead happier, healthier and productive lives and build a stronger society.

For more information regarding America’s Promise please visit their website at

America's Promise

 The 5 Promises

1.Caring Adults

—Ongoing relationships with caring adults.A broad range or ongoing relationships between adults and youth that provide care, support or guidance. These relationships can be found with parents and relatives and can extend to other adults, from coaches and teachers to youth organization leaders and neighbors.

2.Safe Place and structured activities

—Places that provide a safe, supervised place during non-school hours at which youth can learn, play and grow through enriching and engaging activities including safe virtual places of media.

3.A Healthy Start for a healthy future

—Balanced nutrition and other practices and habits that foster good health and access to health care that meets acceptable national norms, including prenatal care for expectant mothers.

4.Effective Education

—Intellectual development, motivation, and personal social-emotional, and cultural skills needed for successful work and lifelong learning in a diverse nation, as a result of having quality learning environments, challenging expectations, and consistent formal and informal guidance and mentoring.

5.Opportunities to Help Others

—Opportunities for young people to be active participants in addressing the pressing needs in their communities-- through models of caring behavior, awareness of the needs of others, a sense of personal responsibility to contribute to a larger society and opportunities for volunteering, leadership and service. Meaningful service opportunities call on young people to bring their gifts, energy, and talents to the task of strengthening their community in a variety of ways.


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