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The Positive Youth Development approach suggests that helping young people to achieve their full potential is the best way to prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors. Organizations and communities that promote Positive Youth Development give youth the chance to exercise leadership, build skills, and get involved. The self-confidence, trust, and practical knowledge that young people gain from these opportunities help them grow into healthy, happy, self-sufficient adults.

When community members and policymakers harness the positive energy and initiative of youth, good things happen:

  • Youth believe they can be successful instead of internalizing the negative stereotypes about them that often appear in the media.
  • Youth engage in productive activities that build job and life skills and reinforce community-mindedness.
  • Youth grow comfortable questioning and exploring their roles as citizens in a participatory democracy.

In addition, adults who work closely with youth—and therefore see their dedication, responsibility, and willingness to learn—tend to view youth positively.

Though the concept may seem simple, Positive Youth Development requires an enormous community mobilization. Everyone has a role to play:

Neighborhood leaders and community members can involve young people in measuring how well the community supports youth, and then work together to improve services.

Policymakers can engage youth in discussions about policies that affect them.

Business leaders can teach young people the skills they will need for successful employment.

Asset-graph-1Every two years, the City surveys our young people to identify strengths and needs in our young people’s assets. The survey we use to measure youth assets is called the Profiles in Student Life- Attitudes and Behaviors.  It was developed by the Search Institute– the organization who developed the 40 Assets framework.

This data is used by the NYS, the School Department and many other community groups to serve both as a guideline for program development as well as a measure of our community’s health.

Here is the most recent report on our data, downloadable for your convenience. This is the summary report. You can contact NYS for the full Executive Report. Profiles in Student Life 2018

Our CORE Services



Recreation Programs year round from Birth- 18 and Families! Visit our online registration page for updates and information (including the latest brochure). 



NYS is committed to empowering our young people.  The Newburyport Youth Council is a youth-led community engagement committee for grades 7-12.  Learn more about the Youth Council.



Newburyport Youth Services has chosen to develop its recreation, prevention and empowerment programming around the Positive Youth Development approach. Learn more about the 40 Assets and our “I Supoort YA” campaign.



NYS provides support to children and families in a number of ways.  From the Parent Speaker Series to crisis intervention, programs to mentoring.  Learn more about all that we offer!



NYS is committed to working with partners in the community to foster healthy youth development throughout the city! We are also passionate about enagaging young people in their own community.