Here at GLCYD, we are always looking for reasons to celebrate, and this year we have an especially good one: 2017 marks our 20th year of building youth assets in Marquette and Alger Counties based on the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey.
Here’s what makes this anniversary worth celebrating: When we look at the survey results over the years, the data shows a gradual increase in the average number of Developmental Assets® our young people have. Assets are those experiences, skills and qualities that help young people develop in healthy, positive ways.
Over the same period, the number of youth participating in risk-taking behaviors such as substance use has decreased significantly. We’re not talking slight, token differences; the data shows sizable decreases in areas such as drinking and tobacco use.
Woohoo! That’s exactly what we were hoping for in 1997! The community began using data to guide and focus its efforts to support youth, and it has paid off. Kudos to the organizations and individuals who have embraced positive youth development and helped build a culture of support for our youth!
You can see more of the latest survey results in the Marquette and Alger 2016 Youth Asset Report. The report has a special insert, 20 Years of Asset Building, that shows in more depth how the youth environment has changed since 1997.
Though our work is not done—far from it—it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come. To that end, we’re co-hosting a celebration with the U.P. Children’s Museum, an asset-rich community gem that’s been right beside us along this 20-year run. The Friends and Family Reunion is Wednesday, July 26, 5:30-7:30 at the museum.
Join us, and we’ll celebrate together!