Darien is a community that truly values its youth. From nationally recognized schools to stellar sports programs; from highly regarded community service projects and extracurricular opportunities, the young people in Darien are given ample opportunity — and support — to become well-balance and well-rounded individuals.
But creating opportunity certainly is not enough. As adults, we need to help young people create a foundation enabling them to make healthy choices — to make good and safe choices.
Through evidence based research, the Search Institute has identified 40 Developmental Assets that are building blocks and represent the relationships, opportunities and personal qualities that a young person needs to thrive. Studies show that the more Developmental Assets a young person possesses, the more likely he/she is to be emotionally healthy and successful in life, and the less likely he/she is to engage in risky behaviors.
The Thriving Youth: Connected Community Task Force in Darien (a coalition of professionals and individuals representing a wide range of community sectors) is launching a campaign: “Let’s Get Talking” during the month of April. We welcome your participation in this process. Whether parent or coach; teacher or store-owner; neighbor or friend; how we treat and respond to young people does make a difference in how they develop and see themselves in the fabric of the world.
In conjunction with “Let’s Get Talking,” April is Alcohol and Asset Awareness Month as well. We invite you to be an active participant in the many events which are taking place throughout the month. Or to simply learn more about the 40 developmental assets and the important role they play in all of our lives.
A calendar of events as well as many valuable resources can be found on the new Thriving Youth website. Be certain to look, as well, for lawn signs and posters throughout the community with messaging and reminders of the importance of talking — and listening — to our kids.
Co-chairmen, Thriving Youth Task Force