November emphasizes empowerment

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Welcome to November and the Asset category of Empowerment. The category is represented by the symbol of the sunburst and includes Assets 7 through 10.
These are:
7. Community values youth — Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
8. Youth as resources — Young people are given useful roles in the community.
9. Service to others — Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
10. Safety — Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.
Today we will look at the number 7, which is the reason, I’m sure you heard it before, why I began on the Assets path.
When I took this job our most recent local data, reported that 15 percent of our youth reported feeling valued by the community.
The 2009 data raised our percentage to 23 percent; it was one of proudest Asset moments at the annual conference that year.
The 2013 data is back down to 27 percent and that makes me sad. Now while we may not know exactly what it is that makes a youth feel valued, I do know we have a lot of struggling youth in our community.
I started this work when my youngest child was 7 and this Asset holds a lot of meaning for me.

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