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The Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of development that help young people grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible. Click through the following icons to learn more about the external and internal assets built through mentorship, support, and guidance.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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