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Buffalo Hospital

United for Youth

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Buffalo Hospital supports United for Youth, a community-wide initiative in Montrose, Hanover and Buffalo focused on helping youth become responsible, successful and caring adults. Similar initiatives are underway in communities throughout Wright County.


The purpose of this initiative is to build assets or values in youth. Assets defined by Search Institute are as those "positive qualities and experiences that help young people to make wise decisions, choose positive paths, and grow up competent, caring and responsible." 

The Search Institute research found that the proactive building of assets through prevention and early intervention activities is the key to preventing risky behaviors, such as problem alcohol or drug use, sexual activity, depression, violence and school problems. Their research also indicates that the more assets young people hold, the less likely they are to be involved in high-risk behaviors. In addition to protecting youth from negative behaviors, having more assets increases the chances that young people will have positive attitudes and behaviors, such as success in school, good health, resilience, leadership and helpfulness.

40 Developmental Assets

Asset name



1. Family support

Family life provides high levels of love and support

2. Positive family communication

Parents and child communicate positively, child is willing to seek parents advice and counsel

3. Other adult relationships

Child receives support from three or more non-parent adults

4. Caring neighborhood

Child experiences caring neighbors

5. Caring school climate

School provides a caring, encouraging environment

6. Parent involvement in schooling

Parents are actively involved in helping child succeed in school


7. Community values youth

Child perceives that community adults value youth

8. Youth given useful roles

Youth are given useful roles in community life

9. Community service

Child gives one hour or more per week to serving in one’s community

10. Safety

Child feels safe in home, school and neighborhood

Boundaries & expectations

11. Family boundaries

Family has clear rules and consequences; and monitors whereabouts

12. School boundaries

School provides clear rules and consequences

13. Neighborhood boundaries

Neighbors would report undesirable behavior to family

14. Adult role models

Parent(s) and other adults model prosocial behavior

15. Positive peer influence 

Child’s best friends model responsible behavior

16. High expectations

Both parents and teachers press child to achieve 



17. Creative activities

Involved three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater or the arts

18. Youth programs

Involved three hours or more per week in sports, clubs or organizations at school and/or in community organizations

19. Religious community

Involved one or more hours per week

20. Time at home

Out with friends "with nothing special to do," two or fewer nights per week


Educational Commitment

21. Achievement motivation 

Child is motivated to do well in school 

22. School engagement 

Child is actively engaged in learning

23. Homework 

Child reports one or more hours of homework per day

24. Bonding to school

Child cares about her/his school

25. Reading for pleasure

Child reads for pleasure three or more hours per week



26. Caring

Child places high value on helping other people

27. Equality and social justice

Child places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty

28. Integrity

Child acts on convictions, stands up for her or his beliefs

29. Honesty 

Child "tells the truth even when it is not easy"

30. Responsibility

Child accepts and takes personal responsibility

31. Restraint

Child believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs


Social Competencies

32. Planning and decision-making

Child has skills to plan ahead and make choices

33. Interpersonal competence

Child has empathy, sensitivity and friendship skills

34. Cultural competence 

Child has knowledge of and comfort with people of different racial backgrounds

35. Resistance skills

Child can resist negative peer pressure

36. Peaceful conflict resolution

Child seeks to resolve conflict non-violently


Positive Identity

37. Personal control

Child feels she/he has control over "things that happen to me.

38. Self-esteem

Child reports high self-esteem

39. Sense of purpose

Child reports "my life has a purpose" 

40. Positive view of personal future

Child is optimistic about his/her personal future