Young Health Program: A partnership for Delaware

The Young Health Program: IM40 aims to support children ages 12-15.

The News Journal of Delaware published a joint OpEd by Marion McCourt, chief operating officer of AstraZeneca US, and Michelle Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Delaware.

McCourt and Taylor present our partnership on a new program to support youth and communities in our home state:

The Young Health Program will promote a set of 40 positive developmental assets in adolescents. The developmental assets are personal and community traits that are proven to help protect a young person from health risks and to help promote healthy choices. By working together as a community to promote these developmental assets, we believe we can build a better future and support a healthier generation.

Rooted in the 40 developmental asset approach pioneered by the renowned Search Institute and endorsed by Johns Hopkins University, the Young Health Program: IM40 will seek to increase the inventory of an adolescent’s assets — common sense, positive experiences and qualities that relate to such things as support, boundaries, values and commitment to learning.

Data from Search Institute shows that the assets not only promote positive health and wellbeing, they also help protect young people from high-risk behaviors such as violence, substance abuse and sexual activity. The more assets a young person has, the less likely he or she is to make unhealthy choices today and in the future.

The News Journal also ran this story Saturday on the launch of the program. Give it a click; there are good photos and video at the link.

As we noted Friday, the “Young Health Program IM40” aims to help youth ages 12-15 build up the inventory of personal and community assets they need to be healthier and more successful in school.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at those 40 developmental assets.