Youth Development, How to Keep Young People Away From Risky Behaviors

Why Care About Youth Development?

“Youth who are constructively involved in learning and doing and who are connected to positive adults and peers are less likely to engage in risky or self-defeating behaviors.”

What is it?

Youth development is a process that prepares a young person to meet the challenges of life and encourages them to reach their full potential.

How is it Promoted?

Youth development is promoted through activities that help foster ethical, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs.

Here are Three Support Systems and How they Foster Youth Development.

1.  Families...

  • provide support
  • have positive communication
  • have clear rules and consequences
  • spend time together
  • expect youth to do well

2.  Schools...

  • expect commitment
  • have a caring climate
  • have clear rules and consequences
  • have positive adult role models
  • expect youth to do well

3.  Communities...

  • advocate for youth
  • monitor youths' behavior
  • have positive adult role models
  • have positive youth role models
  • have available youth programs

How Does the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County Promote This?

The club promotes this through a variety of programs focused on academic readiness, healthy active lifestyles, and creative pursuits. Youth are encouraged to interact with one another in a team focused atmosphere that develops and fosters good social skills and healthy relationships. Staff are encouraged to combine different skill sets in a variety of activities revolved around youth leadership and development.

Video: Boys & Girls Club National Program – YOUTH OF THE YEAR

This is an opportunity that all clubs participate in that fosters youth development. If you'd like,  listen to the story of a recent youth of the year named Maryah Sullivan.



“Youth Development & Youth Leadership.” National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition. Regents of the University of Minnesota, n.d. Web. 7 October 2015. <>.
Image courtesy of photostock at <>.
Video courtesy of youtube. <>.


ArticleRyan DavisComment