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Assets in Action: September marks building Assets month

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

I love this time of year as we begin to dive into the heart of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets©.
I feel like D. Peter Benson, who so loved New Mexico, is smiling down knowing that his legacy still continues.

September marks the annual proclamation for the Los Alamos County Council to recognize the month as the beginning of building the Assets in our community. The work is so important that I have volunteered to write a weekly column for many years because I believe in the work so very much.

The Assets are 40 traits and characteristics that we, as a community, can focus on for youth. If we dedicate some time each month throughout the school year, we can help our children to grow into healthy young adults.

“Healthy Community, Healthy Youth,” is the motto and it is needed in our community, the state and the nation. You don’t have to do anything monumental, but pay attention and build meaningful relationships whenever you have the opportunity.

The work of Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) is to highlight the Assets and bring meaningful ways to add them to the community. We do that in a variety of ways like youth development with middle-school aged student, hands on science in elementary classrooms and community celebrations. We try to highlight a local youth once a month with nominations from the community. You can do it anytime by emailing us at cya.or@att.net, or by visiting our website at cya-nm.org.

This month, many community partners will aide our efforts to raise funds in our, Change for Change collection. Their help will assist us in sponsoring the monthly award. Collections are being done by many local businesses.

The Betty Ehart Senior Center enhances our work by collecting lunch and snack donations, hard candy and gum to enhance youth projects and pre-packaged cookies for our Cookies and Conversation program. Cookies and Conversation is an intergenerational chance for youth and senior citizens to come together for simple, light-hearted conversation, caring and sharing the chance to gather together.

One highlight of the month is a day we call College & Military Day, which takes place this Friday. You simply wear the apparel for your favorite college or military organization to demonstrate wear you received your life-long education. It also allows the extra added bonus of thanking a member of the armed services for their service.

Also in a perfect world, you would text or email us a photo or post it on our Facebook page at Champions of Youth Ambitions. Thanks for your support.