Asset Corner #83

SHOW KIDS YOU CARE:  ASK FOR THEIR OPINION. November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT. Young people are empowered when they feel valued, valuable and safe. They need to believe that adults like and respect them. Finally, they need plenty of opportunities to contribute to their communities through volunteering, working in paid jobs and sharing their ideas, knowledge and creativity. One of these days, the young people in your home, school, neighborhood and workplace will be in charge – in charge of their own lives and in charge of the world. You can help young people get ready for their future role by empowering them now.

EMPOWERMENT Assets Include:
       # 7 Community Values Youth - Kids perceive that adults in the community value youth. (22%*)
       # 8 Youth as Resources – Young people are given useful roles in the community. (26%*)
       # 9 Service to Others – Young person serves in the community one hour or more a week. (48%*)
       #10 Safety – Kids feel safe at home, school & in the neighborhood situations. (51%*)

This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #8 – Youth as Resources

Give young people meaningful roles “Having a voice” means more than making a sound when you sing or shout. The ways people express ideas, energy, and insights make each person unique. Helping young people find their voices is one of the best ways to help them be a positive force in their families, schools, clubs, teams, or neighborhoods. This is good for them—and for your community. Young people have a lot more to contribute when their opinions are respected and their talents are tapped. Listen closely to the opinions of young people around you, and you’ll all benefit.

Here are the facts:
Research shows when young people have useful roles in their community they feel good about themselves and their future, do better in school, and get into less trouble. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and appreciated. Only 26 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they’ve been given useful roles in their community, according to Search Institute surveys. Allow all young people to have a voice in issues and decisions at home, school, and in the community.

Tips for building this asset:
Building this asset means valuing young people’s talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It means setting aside the belief that adults know more than the younger generation. When you see children and youth as valuable resources, they feel more empowered to contribute to the community, and at school, and home in meaningful, thoughtful ways.

Also try this:
In your home and family: Invite your child to help you plan a party or other event. Ask for her or his opinions about the theme, menu, and guests.
In your neighborhood and community: Choose a community issue important to you and gather the opinions of both young people and adults. When the time for action arrives, enlist the help of those who share your passion.
In your school or youth program: Ask students and participants to find newspaper stories or images that grab their attention. In groups, talk about the topics they identified. Brainstorm ways for them to get involved and use their voices in positive ways, such as writing or e-mailing a letter to the editor, calling a legislator, attending a meeting, or forming a group.

The Parma Area Family Collaborative is already starting to plan for this year’s Holiday Giving Tree. Last year the program was able to give gifts to over 900 children in the community. This year the need is expected to be even greater. To participate contact Ken Rummell at, ph: 440.887.4873 giving him your name, contact information, number of children you’d like to sponsor, and, if you’d like, the gender & any age preference. The “Wish List” for selected child will be sent to you by November 14th. Your wrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Collab starting on Dec 5 thru Dec 7th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Give Ken a call w/any questions.

The October meeting (Oct 11th) of the Tri-City Youth Planning Council was both energized and focused w/student leadership taking a lead role in the discussion. Major issues centered mostly on fiscal recovery/district restructuring and how best to appropriately present alternatives & advocate effectively for a particular position. The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 pm, Tuesday Nov 15 at the Parma Hts Library. If you're at all interested in youth development/programming and/or involved in youth outreach, please consider attending these meetings. Show our kids that we value them!
The Collab's (at Hanna Elem on Snow & Chevy Blvd) next Mobile Food Pantry will take place on Thursday, November 10th. Help is needed in the morning (9:00 am) to unload & set-up, and again in the afternoon (2:00 pm) for distribution. Contact Kira Karabanovs, Director of Family & Community Engagement for details on how you can get involved in this and many other youth related programs - email:; ph: 440.842.7022.
The Islamic Center of Cleveland, 6055 W. 130th is now hosting a Mobile Food Pantry for low income families from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm the 1st Saturday of each month. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5th. You must present a valid ID & it’s recommended that you bring your own bags and/or carts.
Go to for a summary of the various services provided by Gear Up Parma. They include ACT/SAT Fee Waivers, College application Fee Waivers, College Now & Gear up Scholarships, Assistance filing FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) documents & more. This is a great dollar-saving program available for district families w/students planning on entering college. Don't ignore this opportunity.

Visit, for more information about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them. Or go here  for great asset-based parenting tips, tricks, activities and ideas.

Gene Lovasy

Community Volunteer/Activist

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.03.2016