Best Practice Community Development

Asset Development

Below are the 8 categories that contain a total of 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities one needs in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within a young person (internal assets). Our comprehensive programming is built with asset development in mind.


The supports, opportunities, and relationships young people need across all aspects of their lives in order to mature and thrive.

Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them. They need to know that they belong in that they are not alone.


Young people need the positive influence of peers and adults who encourage them to be and do their best. They need clear rules about appropriate behavior, and consistent, responsible consequences for inappropriate behaviors.


Young people need to feel valued and invaluable. They need to feel safe, to believe that they’re liked and respected, and to have opportunities to make meaningful contributions within the hierarchies that surround them.

Constructive Use Of Time

Young people need opportunities – outside of school – to learn and develop new skills and interests, and to spend enjoyable time interacting with other youth and adults.


The skills, commitments, and values needed to make good choices, take responsibility, and be independent, healthy and fulfilled.
Commitment to Learning

Young people need a variety of learning experiences, including the desire for academic success, a sense of lasting importance of learning, and I believe in their own abilities.

Positive Values

Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles, including caring for others, having high standards for personal character, and believing in protecting their own well-being.

Social Competencies

Young people need to develop the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions and choices, and to cope with new situations.

Positive Identity

And people need to believe in their own self-worth, to believe that they have control over the things that happened to them, and to have a sense of purpose in life as well as a positive view the future.

The power of Assets

  • The 40 Developmental assets represent common wisdom of the kinds of positive experiences and characteristics that young people need and deserve.
  • Surveys of more than 200,000 students in grades 6-12 reveal that assets are powerful influences of adolescent behavior.
  • Regardless of gender, ethnicity, economic status, or location—these assets are the positive attitudes and behaviors needed to protect young people from social and economic mobility.

The Gap in Assets among Youth

While there is no “magic number” of assets young people should have, data indicates that 31 is a worthy, more challenging benchmark for experiencing their positive effects most strongly. Yet only 9% of youth have 31 or more assets. More than half have 20 or fewer.


0-10 Assets


21-30 Assets


11-20 Assets


31-40 Assets

At Neighbor to Neighbor we track, train, and create comprehensive programming to develop assets In youth and young adults. To do this we are safe haven that offers a secure base so that our neighbors can establish roots and grow wings as they move from surviving to thriving.

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350 volunteers invest time at N2N each year


Volunteers produce $240K in value each year


75K hours of one-on-one mentorship have been provided


450 people are involved in N2N each week during the school year

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