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Search Institute leader to come to town

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By The Staff

This week as we focus on all of the assets, I have some great news to share. On May 11, Search Institute leader Peter Benson will return to Los Alamos after first coming to the city in 1997.

The Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Family Strengths Network and Assets In Action have combined time, talent and energy to arrange for the community presentation.

Benson is the brains behind the research-based work and a world-renown speaker.

Benson has worked with the likes of Colin Powell and the Dali Lama to move the work of assets forward, not just in our country, but the world.

I’m not the only one hooked on this little assets idea.

According to the Search Institute, “His work has inspired and guided more than 500 community-based initiatives in 45 states and every Canadian province and on six continents.”

The fact that Benson will grace us with his presence isn’t just lucky for us, but quite the victory. You see small town events are nice, but when your work is in such great demand, there’s just not enough time in the day.

I was lucky enough to receive a box of old videotapes from PAC-8 a while back, when like many of us, they were attempting to de-clutter. As I went through many old copies from a show called, “For Families,” started by my predecessor Doris Thielman, much to my glee, I found three copies from his last visit.

 Benson will come to discuss assets in general and the larger connection to SPARKS. We’ve discussed the notion of SPARKS here before as we try to tap into the passions of young people.

I don’t mean the path that necessarily leads them to be what they want to do as an occupation, but what they do that gives their meaning life and purpose. If you’re lucky enough to combine them both, life is sweet.

So if you have the desire to connect with youth, this is the talk for you. It is also my belief that the first thing on the calendar is the first thing you go to, so pencil it in for that evening, if you dare.

I understand that I’m just another talking head, but this will be straight from the horse’s mouth, as Peter Benson is the Dali Lama of Assets world.

If the reference equivalent was to religion, the Pope is coming. If it was a reference to science, Einstein is coming, if it was a sports reference, Drew Brees is coming.

Mesa Public Library has acquired several books on Assets, two authored by Benson. “All Kids Are Our Kids: What Communities must due to raise caring and responsible children and adolescents” and “What teens need to succeed: proven practical ways to shape your own future.”  

If your technology is still a little dated, you can pick up the 40 Developmental Assets: Start Over, Starting Now, video for an overview.

We’re working with Los Alamos Public Schools to provide credit to staff that attend the evening performance. We’re also interested in speaking to community groups about our work prior to the formal presentation. If you have a club, organization, lunch group or would consider a lunchtime talk for your office, give us a call.  Assets In Action in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board loves the work we do in this community. We need to know how we reach everyone though. Our two best are through the Los Alamos Monitor and KRSN AM 1490.

If folks don’t listen to the radio and don’t have a subscription to the Monitor, how do we reach them? If you have suggestions, let us know.

So we hope to see you on the evening of May 11.