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Youth Thrive




Check out the  
Wake County Well-Being Report





What is Step-it-up-2-Thrive?

Step-it-up-2-Thrive is a combined research and evidence based curriculum that garner PAAL has implemented in our programs.  Step-it-up-2-Thrive is a theory of change with four stages.  The first stage is identification of youths’ sparks, followed by a development of a growth mindset.  The third stage encourages youth self-reflection about indicators of thriving and risk factors in the way.  The fourth stage builds youths’ goal management skills, or what we term GPS (Goal selection, Pursuit of strategies, and Shifting gears in the face of challenge).  The full Step-it-up-2-Thrive process motivates youth to achieve personal development goals.

We follow the Guide for Best Practices in Positive Youth Development in our programs.

Youth outcomes are:

  • Self-reflection—Youth learn realistic self-reflection skills and
    how to apply their strengths to challenges and opportunities.
  • A Language to Communicate—Youth and mentors develop a
    common language for framing concepts about thriving.
  • A Balanced View of Development—Youth gain a holistic
    perspective of personal development, balanced with a deep view
    of specific indicators of thriving.
  • Intrinsic Motivation & Learned Skills—Youth develop a vision for their future. They are motivated to learn skills that are indicators of thriving. Their progress is enhanced by the assistance of adult guides trained in research-based techniques

We have several members of Garner PAAL that are members of Action Teams.  Additionally the Garner Police Chief, Brandon Zuidema, served on the Youth Thrive Board of Directors.  This is not about the creation of ANOTHER strategic plan. Serving on an Action Team gives you and your organization the chance to bring your existing strategic plan(s) to the table, align them to community needs and then to other organizations serving the same population. Once finalized, your organization will be represented in the Master Plan, which will go before our local stakeholder bodies (i.e., the Board of Commissioners, City Councils, Board of Education, etc.) for adoption and support. Not being at the table leaves reduces the chance of optimal inclusion and representation of what is available to youth in our County.

Academic Success & Graduation Action Team: Academic milestones to increase high school graduation rates

Opportunity Youth Action Team: Issues related to youth who are considered at-risk

Physical Health & Safety Action Team: Anything that threatens the physical health and safety of children

Emotional/Mental Health & Wellness Action Team

  • Access to mental health care
  • Bullying prevention
  • Suicide prevention
  • Special populations
  • Increasing our local understanding about the actual mental health/wellness of Wake County youth

Vocational & Civic Development Action Team

  • Soft skill development
  • Increasing opportunities for job shadowing
  • Youth engagement in volunteerism
  • Increasing the likelihood that youth will participate in the electoral process (voting/public service)

Data Action Team

  • Continuous data improvement and collection
  • Updates to the Wake County Youth Well-being Profile
  • Improving local data sharing practices
  • Focus on exploring shared measurement and shared measurement systems

Communications Action Team

  • Effective communication of Youth Thrive, its mission and Action Team efforts
  • Increasing and ensuring appropriate outreach to relevant audiences

Policy & Advocacy Action Team

  • Inform Youth Thrive of timely legislation and/or policy initiatives (local, state and national) related to youth
  • Seek to understand local systems and their design

For more information about the Youth Thrive Organization please visit their WEBSITE.  You can also find more information on the Step-it-up-2-Thrive curriculum by visiting clicking HERE.





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