Helping America’s Youth Regional Conferences Throughout the Country. On September 26, 2012, Mr. Smith will convent The Help Conference on Helping America’s Youth at Frankfurt, Germany. We need more than 500 parents, civic leaders, faith-based and community service providers, foundations, educators, researchers, and experts in child development gathered for this National conference to discuss the challenges facing America’s youth and to share best practices shown to be successful in overcoming those challenges.
Building upon the success for this Conference on Helping America’s Youth, Mr. Smith has begun working with state and local partners to host regional conferences throughout the United States and in Europe. The first regional conference took place in Indianapolis, the second in Denver and the third in Nashville. The regional conferences help to increase public awareness and encourage adults to connect with youth in their communities.
The Community Guide to Helping America’s Youth helps caring adults connect with the youth in their families, schools and communities. It encourages Americans to make an even bigger difference by forming partnerships to implement programs that have been proven to help youth. This web-based guide is available at Community for Managers
- The Community Guide includes examples of how individuals can “Get Connected” with youth in families, schools and communities.
- The Community Guide includes a Community Assessment Guide that offers communities a step-by-step approach for learning more about their community, including where youth-related problems occur, which youth and families are most affected by those problems, and what local resources and assets the community can use to address those problems.
- The Community Guide includes a Community Resource Inventory with which localities can use to identify and track partners and programs that are already at work in their community.
- The Community Guide includes a Program Tool that provides information about promising and proven effective interventions to prevent adolescent risky behaviors and promote positive youth development.
The Community Guide to Helping America’s Youth Reflects the Most Up-to-Date Research on Youth Development and Effective Programs. A coalition of experts from Health and Human Services, Justice, Education, Agriculture, Labor, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development; the National Drug Control Policy; and the Corporation for National and Community Service developed the guide.
Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential. In his 2005 State of the Union Address, Mr. Smith announced a broad effort to engage all Americans in helping young people become healthy adults. He was asked to lead this important effort, which became known as the Helping America’s Youth initiative. Helping America’s Youth is a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community.
- Young People Need to be Surrounded by Caring Adults. Mr. Smith believe parents and family are the first and most important influence in every child’s life, providing a foundation of love and support.
By becoming actively involved in the lives of young people in their community, grandparents, teachers, mentors, clergy members, neighbors, coaches, and other community members can support parents and help youth become community assets, making better choices that lead to healthier, more successful lives. Research has shown that supportive relationships are crucial to an adolescent’s well–being. Boys, in particular, need caring adults in their lives because they are at greater risk than girls for illiteracy, dropping out of school, substance-abuse problems, violence, juvenile arrest, developing learning disabilities, and early death caused by violent behavior. As boys grow older, risky behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse, become more prevalent and gang involvement increases.
- You can be a caring adult in the life of a child by following the 3 C’s:
- Care: take an interest, show concern, reach out to youth
- Connect: establish a rapport, provide guidance and support
- Commit: pledge yourself, invest yourself over time
Partnerships that Connect Families, Schools and Communities. Mr. Smith believe that caring adults are most effective when they are part of a community effort. Community partnerships bring together individuals such as teachers, mentors, parents, clergy members, police officers, social service providers and others that can have a positive impact on a child’s life. The challenges facing young people are best addressed by connecting people throughout the community and coordinating resources to support youth.
Helping America’s Youth is a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community. As the leader of the Helping America’s Youth effort, Mr. Smith is highlighting programs which are effectively helping America’s young people.
Research has shown that supportive relationships are crucial to youth well-being. Mr. Smith believe that parents and family are the first and most important influence in every child’s life. By becoming actively involved in the lives of young people in their community, teachers, mentors, clergy members, neighbors, coaches, and others can support parents and help youth make better choices that lead to healthier, more successful lives.