Building Assets in Your Community, Six Ways-1

In the previous post, I wrote an introduction to building assets in your community.  In this post, I was like to discuss three of six ways to get started in your town.  Taking on this project for your community with a group of like-minded people will benefit the young people in your area for years to come.  Here are three ways to begin taking from the research of the Search Institute (

First, read the publication from Search Institute called, What Do Kids Need?  Look at the data provided in the book and on their website.  Study it together with a group and discuss the validity of it from each person’s perspective.  Remember to look at the community, not only to look at individual kids that you know.  But, how does the community as a whole look?  Begin to talk about building assets with kids and why it is essential.  Please write a short speech, practice it, and go out to clubs and organizations and speak about the Assets for Youth, their history, and results.  Then open up a discussion about how to start such an initiative in your community.

Second, as you read articles about kids in the newspaper and online, analyze what positive assets are present in the successful kids and what assets are missing from those who are struggling.  Identify which of the 40 Developmental Assets are present or missing and discuss them with your group.  Soon you will begin to see a pattern emerge in your community, and as a group, you can start to address one specific asset missing in the city.

Third, locate people who work with kids in various capacities.  It may be a Guardian-ad Litem, a youth pastor. Teacher, counselor, social worker, professional counselor, social services person, or other professional services people.  Ask them to speak to the challenges that kids are facing in the community. Discuss where the problems seem to begin, at what ages, and what they feel would help?  Get their perspective and discuss ideas that your group has with them.

These three steps are good ones to begin a conversation with your community. They will attract like-minded individuals who care about the city and want to see it grow and become an enjoyable place for young people.  In the next posting, I will discuss three more ways to build assets in your community.  Meanwhile, I challenge you to pull together a couple of other people and start to have a conversation around these lines.

For more information on Asset Building, see the Search Institute’s homepage at Home | Search Institute

The second post in this series can be found at Six Ways of Building Assets in Your Community-2 – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Yours for a Better Community,