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Charitable Mission


Ventana's Method

All of Ventana del Soul's programs are derived from the 40 Developmental Assets. During training, all of Ventana's staff and volunteers are asked to identify the key Assets that they use in their lives to increase their own quality of life. Then, everyone is encouraged to incorporate the Assets into their management style while they work alongside youth.

What are Developmental Assets?

Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets® are concrete, common sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to raising successful young people. These assets have the power during critical adolescent years to influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults.

40 Assets for Adolescents

Why are Assets Important?

The Power of Assets

(printable PDF format)



The 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents

Asset Type Asset Name & Definition

Support Family support Family life provides high levels of love and support.

Positive family communication Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s).

Other adult relationships Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.

Caring neighborhood Young person experiences caring neighbors.

Caring school climate School provides a caring, encouraging environment.

Parent involvement in schooling Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

Empowerment Community values youth Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.

Youth as resources Young people are given useful roles in the community.

Service to others Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.

Safety Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries and Expectations Family boundaries Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person's whereabouts.

School boundaries School provides clear rules and consequences.

Neighborhood boundaries Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people's behavior.

Adult role models Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.

Positive peer influence Young person's best friends model responsible behavior.

High expectations Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use 
of Time
Creative activities Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.

Youth programs Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.

Religious community Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.

Time at home Young person is out with friends "with nothing special to do" two or fewer nights per week.


Commitment to Learning

Achievement motivation Young person is motivated to do well in school.

School engagement Young person is actively engaged in learning.

Homework Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.

Bonding to school Young person cares about her or his school.

Reading for pleasure Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Positive Values Caring Young person places high value on helping other people.

Equality and social justice Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.

Integrity Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.

Honesty Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."

Responsibility Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.

Restraint Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

Social Competencies Planning and decision making Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.

Interpersonal competence Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.

Cultural competence Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Resistance skills Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.

Peaceful conflict resolution Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

Positive Identity Personal power Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."

Self-esteem Young person reports having a high self-esteem.

Sense of purpose Young person reports that "my life has a purpose."

Positive view of personal future Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

This list is an educational tool. It is not intended to be nor is it appropriate as a scientific measure of the developmental assets of individuals.

Copyright © 1997, 2007 by Search Institute. All rights reserved. This chart may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial use only (with this copyright line). No other use is permitted without prior permission from Search Institute, 615 First Avenue N.E., Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828.

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Why Are the 40 Developmental Assets Important?

Search Institute has surveyed over two million youth across the United States and Canada since 1989. Researchers have learned about the experiences, attitudes, behaviors, and the number of Developmental Assets at work for these young people. Studies reveal strong and consistent relationships between the number of assets present in young people’s lives and the degree to which they develop in positive and healthful ways. Results show that the greater the numbers of Developmental Assets are experienced by young people, the more positive and successful their development. The fewer the number of assets present, the greater the possibility youth will engage in risky behaviors such as drug use, unsafe sex, and violence.

The reality is that the average young person surveyed in the United States experiences only 19 of the 40 assets. Overall, 59% of young people surveyed have 20 or fewer of the 40 assets. In short, the majority of young people in this country--from all walks of life--are lacking in sufficient Developmental Assets needed for healthy development. These statistics, as well as the role assets play in predicting both positive and negative outcomes for youth, underscore the importance of the developmental asset framework and its application.

Can Anything Be Done to Increase the Assets Young People Experience?
The answer is a resounding and hopeful yes! Adults and youth--in big and small ways--can help increase Developmental Assets in the daily lives of young people. What’s needed is an understanding of what actions and behaviors breed success, willingness and ideas to apply that knowledge, and most importantly, a desire to see young people grow up happy, healthy, and confident.

“Asset-building”--the Institute’s term for purposefully helping youth experience more assets in their lives--is happening in hundreds of communities by thousands of people across North America. Youth and adults—in big cities and small towns-- understand in growing numbers the awesome power they have in making positive and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Individually and together, they are actively engaged in the movement to grow healthy communities and healthy youth.

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The Power of Assets

On one level, the 40 Developmental Assets represent everyday wisdom about positive experiences and characteristics for young people. In addition, Search Institute research has found that these assets are powerful influences on adolescent behavior-both protecting young people from many different problem behaviors and promoting positive attitudes and behaviors. This power is evident across all cultural and socioeconomic groups of youth. There is also evidence from other research that assets have the same kind of power for younger children.

Protecting Youth from High-Risk Behaviors

Assets have tremendous power to protect youth from many different harmful or unhealthy choices. To illustrate this power, these charts show that youth with the most assets are least likely to engage in four different patterns of high-risk behavior, based on surveys of almost 150,000 6th- to 12th-grade youth in 202 communities across the United States in calendar year 2003.

0-10 Assets  11-20 Assets 21-30 Assets 31-40 Assets
Alcohol Use 45%  26% 11% 3%
Violence 62% 38% 18% 6%
Illicit Drug Use 38% 18% 6% 1%
Sexual Activity  34% 23% 11% 3%

The same kind of impact is evident with many other problem behaviors, including tobacco use, depression and attempted suicide, antisocial behavior, school problems, driving and alcohol, and gambling.

Promoting Positive Attitudes and Behaviors

In addition to protecting youth from negative behaviors, having more assets increases the chances that young people will have positive attitudes and behaviors, as these charts show.

0-10 Assets 11-20 Assets 21-30 Assets 31-40 Assets
Exhibits Leadership 48% 66% 78% 87%
Maintains Good Health 27% 48% 69% 88%
Values Diversity 39%  60% 76% 89%
Succeeds in School  9% 19% 34% 54%

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