City Youth Now's personal development fund provides support for youth in the system by funding activities and programs which promote positive youth development. In contrast to traditional prevention models, positive youth development (or personal development) emphasizes building skills and assets in youth in addition to preventing common negative outcomes. Common goals of positive youth development programming include:
- Promoting positive relationships with peers
- Emphasizing youths' strengths
- Providing opportunities to learn healthy behaviors
- Connecting youth with caring adults
- Empowering youth to assume leadership roles in programs
City Youth Now works to make sure that youth in the juvenile court system have the same positive youth development opportunities as other children—learning to play the guitar, singing in the choir, participating in sports. We help pay for the classes, uniforms or supplies necessary to help youth find something that will make them engage in positive behavior and build successful futures.
When young people feel good about themselves they operate more effectively and productively in our communities, families and schools. Learning life skills, as well, through positive youth development can be applied all life-long. Appropriate risk-taking, and a healthy sense of competition and sportsmanship can substitute for violent confrontation or gang activity.