Assets Resources

What are Assets? The Developmental Assets® are 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults. APCYF wants everyone to be fluent in the language of assets. Learn more…

Building Developmental Assets can be done on an individual or family level, in a youth-serving organization, or across the community.

Below are a variety of resources that you can use to further understand what Developmental Assets are, and how you can spread the word to others to join your efforts. If you have resources you would like to add, or if something is missing, let us know!

Assets for an Individual or family

  • Connect with kids: Smile and say hello to young people you meet
  • Ask their opinions or ask them to help you
  • Listen to them – WITHOUT judgment
  • Include them in making choices and decisions. Give them a VOICE in your family, your organization, your COMMUNITY
  • Tell them how much you enjoy being with them

Check out this quick slideshow (12 slides) about Developmental Assets. It provides an overview and how we can shift our thinking to help more young people have and build Developmental Assets.

Curious how many Assets you or your child has? Do this quick, simple (and basic) Asset Checklist

Want to know more about your child? Here are a few ways to get a conversation started.

Or read this longer article on How to have meaningful conversations with youth

Sparking Creativity and Excitement – TEDx talk by Peter Benson. This powerful 19-minute TEDx Talk by Peter Benson shares research on youth and how they can thrive based on their ‘spark’ or interests; it is still very relevant despite being recorded in 2011.

Want to know more about ‘Sparks’ in your child? Use these Sparks Questions to guide the conversation.

Thriving Indicators

Assets in a Youth-Serving Organization

Adults can help to build Assets however and wherever they interact with young people.

Do you coach? Here are some tips for Coaches as Asset Builders.

Want your program to be more Asset-based?  Programs through an Assets Lens

Want to spread the message of Developmental Assets?

Presenter Resources

Scripts – Pick the time you have to present and customize your talk:

Interactive Activities


Core Messages

Messages for Different Audiences:

Handouts (Links to separate page with helpful materials to print and use)

How-Tos from “Creating a Positive After-school Climate“

How to use positive behavior management

How to give youth opportunities for choice

How to form caring relationships with young people

How to create a student advisory group

How-Tos from “Pass It On” by Search Institute

Fostering Youth-Led Service Learning

Asset Building Difference

Asset-Building Checklist for Your Organization

Building Assets for Hard-to-Reach Kids

Asset-Building Days, Weeks, and Months to Celebrate


50 ways to show kids you care

What makes me a leader

Positive Power Words for parents & program staff

99 ways to tell a student they did something great

Helpful Links

This page has links to other sites with additional information for you to use.

Michael Swisher | | 703-228-1671