About Positive Youth Development

Positive Youth Development, or PYD, is a novel approach to youth development. It emphasizes building strengths and attributes that buffer the impact of the stress young people face, to ensure they become resilient and contributing adults

PYD suggests that helping youth achieve their full potential is the best way to prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors and to help them grow into positive, contributing adults

The cornerstone of the PYD approach is the “40 Asset” framework pioneered by the Search Institute, an American organization that researches child development. The framework consists of 40 different characteristics, or “assets”, that a child should strive to have. Half of those are “internal assets” – those that are instilled within a young person. The other half consists of “external assets,” which are provided to a youth by others. Years of research have confirmed that the fewer of these assets a young person has, the more likely he or she is to engage in risk-taking behaviours, such as violence or drug use. Conversely, the more assets a youth possesses, the more likely he or she will exhibit thriving behaviours like leadership or academic success. These youth are also less likely to engage in harmful activities.

This fall, the Jamat will begin its Journey to support and energize our youth by incorporating Positive Youth Development into formal programs as well as our informal interactions. Training on PYD will be carried out in Jamatkhanas across the country, while the institutional boards and portfolios will endeavour to weave the PYD approach into their programs and services. To learn more about Positive Youth Development, please contact  your local PYD Asset Champion

Watch the following video for an introduction to the concept of a youth's "spark", and how this simple conversation can be used to build a meaningful connection with each of our youth

Video : Sparks: How Youth Thrive


         A series of modules have been compiled for use by the Canadian Jamat. Reviewing these                    modules will enable you to incorporate PYD concepts into everyday interactions with your own          children and others.

Topic 1 – PYD Fundamentals

Discover the fundamental concepts behind PYD.

            Module 1.1– What are PYD and the 40 assets?

            A basic introduction to Positive Youth Development.

            Module 1.2 – The Current State of PYD Within Our Jamat

            Understand the needs and aspirations of today’s youth. To learn more about how to access               this module, please contact your local PYD Asset Champion.

Topic 2 – Building the 40 Assets

Tactical techniques to practice Positive Youth development.

Module 2.1 – Building Assets in the Canadian Jamat

Learn how to build assets prioritized for the Canadian Jamat.

            Module 2.2– Targeting segments in Asset Building

            Strategies to build assets could vary depending on someone’s age, family or cultural                         background. Read more about how to cater your youth development strategy.

            Module 2.3– Helping Our Youth Find Their Sparks

            Sparks are the hidden flames in your kids that light their proverbial fire. Do you know your               child’s spark? 

External Resources

For a description of internal and external assets, please click here

Description of the 40 Assets

A description of the 40 internal and external assets as they relate to young people in different age ranges.  All content belongs to the Search Institute.

                Ages 3-5

Ages 5-9                

Ages 8-12                

Ages 12-18                

The Search Institute 

The organization responsible for developing Positive Youth Development.

Parent Further 

A resource created by the Search Institute providing guidance to parents learning about Positive Youth Development