Positive Youth Development and strengths development occur when students are engaged in determining how they will meet their challenges and how they will develop their strengths. We sometimes refer to this process as offering students a “seat at the table.”
Starting from the time of enrollment students are encouraged not only to participate in the design of their academic and therapeutic individual work, but also to engage in community wide initiatives through committees and clubs. Students collaborate with counselors when creating Positive Development Plans (PDPs) and work alongside peers and faculty in a variety of leadership positions. Whether in the milieu, dorms, or committees developing leadership skills is supported and expected by all students. Through collaborative partnering and power sharing, adults and students help steer our school into the future.
Committees in particular offer students a voice and a forum to initiate change within the community. Topics such as dress code, meal menus, privileges, school culture, and activities are examples of popular discussion points. Staff supervised yet student led, committees represent opportunities for ideas, leadership, and progress to emerge.