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RAISING THE BAR FOR TOMORROW'S LEADERSThe Trendsetters concept is based on the scientific findings of the Search Institute of Minneapolis. Based on studies surveying more than 1 million youth, the Search Institute has identified 40 "developmental assets" to help youth succeed. The more assets a youth possesses, the more likely he or she is to "make wise decisions, choose a positive path, and grow up to be a competent, caring and responsible adult." (The Asset Approach, Giving Kids What they Need to Succeed, 1997) Trendsetters also incorporates the America's Promise to Youth philosophy that challenges all levels of the community - individuals, organizations, faith communities, businesses and governments - to come together to create resources for youth.
Trendsetters was developed to offer an ongoing relationship with caring adults, true service learning experiences and character building in a positive environment.
Research has shown that students thrive when they feel connected to their schools and community. Youth also demonstrate limitless enthusiasm when they are given meaningful roles in problem solving, solution seeking and service.
Positive youth development requires a community wide effort.
Since 1998, Trendsetters through Education has been facilitating positive youth development within Arizona. Trendsetters, a nonprofit organization, is unique in several ways:
- Trendsetters club members research and select their own community service and learning projects
- Club meetings and projects are led by elected youth officers with teachers and caring adults serving as facilitators
- Club meetings are held on campus or other places where youth gather to make membership accessible to a diverse group of students
- The Trendsetters concept is based on scientific research that answers the question, "What do kids need to succeed?"
The Trendsetters through Education foundation provides curriculum, training and additional resources that support teachers and caring adults as they create and sustain Trendsetters clubs. This model also allows club members and facilitators to personalize their activities by incorporating their own interests, talents and community needs
- Lisa Ristuccia
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