Reader Submitted

Personal Power: A positive, confidence-building asset used by Coalition for Bedford Youth

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Coalition for Bedford Youth has been extremely busy helping out at events in the local community.

CBY youth develop leadership skills by planning and implementing activities through community collaboration. They understand and accept the things they can and cannot control when planning. This is personal power, which is Asset 37 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible. CBY supports the well-being of Bedford youth by promoting community strategies that develop such assets.

Sometimes CBY youth get creative in their planning with events, such as the Lurgio’s Got Talent Show they organize and host every year as a fundraiser for various causes in the community.

The chapter of CBY at Ross Lurgio school (CBY at RAL) was busy this year collecting donations for the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire.

More recently, CBY youth worked at the Rotary Road Race, held on May 17, where they gave out water to all the runners participating in the race. They were also busy doing a spring cleanup at Camp Allen, which serves people with developmental and physical challenges.

Personal power lets young people know what is achievable and realize their limits and potential. When young people feel empowered, they feel more confident to make their own choices – to get good grades, participate in activities they enjoy, and take action to find solutions to problems.

Research shows that young people are more likely to grow up healthy if they feel a sense of control over the things that happen to them. A sense of personal power gives young people the confidence to embrace positive attitudes and behaviors, and walk away from risky situations and behaviors. About 42 percent of young people, ages 11–18, feel that they have control over things that happen to them, according to Search Institute surveys. Caring adults provide opportunities for young people to make their own decisions.

Recommendations to build this asset include challenging kids to plan and implement activities.

A sense of personal power gives young people the confidence to embrace positive attitudes and behaviors, and walk away from risky situations.

At home, teach your child practical skills, such as how to change a tire, cook a meal and sew on a button.

Well-prepared young people are more likely to feel a sense of personal power.

To learn more about CBY, visit To learn more about Search Institute and the 40 Developmental Assets, visit

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