What is the QYD™ Project?

The QYD Project™ is a community awareness and engagement campaign, in alignment with the 40 Developmental Assets developed years ago by the Search Institute. It seeks to raise community awareness and better engage communities, in support of their youth.


Essex CHIPS has established 10 QYD Benchmarks for a community to achieve, in order to demonstrate its commitment to “Quality Youth Development” and thus be certified as a QYD Community™.

The achievement of the QYD Community™ certification will benefit local youth by more actively engaging the broader community in a discussion about positive youth development principles, the value of promoting the 40 Developmental Assets, and by a deeper commitment of community support that will better enable youth to succeed in school - and as adult members of the community.


The QYD Community™ certification will also benefit the community as a whole through the success of its young adult residents, and the greater likelihood that the youth whose education has been paid for by the community will become productive members of the community after school graduation.


Upon being notified of their QYD™ credential, the local QYD Steering Committee will kick into celebration mode! They will organize a press conference, do TV/radio interviews, seek public proclamations from both local and state government, create new signage in the community, post the achievement on websites, Facebook and other social media.

Why Become a QYD™ Community?

Through the certification process, the community will be more aware of the attributes and value of Quality Youth Development, and many youth in the QYD Community™ will:

  • better realize they are valued and respected

  • be offered more meaningful opportunities

  • demonstrate increased resilience and self-confidence

  • be more likely to thrive in school & as community members.

  • be more inclined to remain in, or return to, the community after school graduation.

The Logic of QYD™

What is the Impact? Youth are less likely to engage in risky behavior, more likely to succeed in school, and more likely to become productive adult community members.

What achievements are the result? Youth feel valued and validated within their community, exhibit increased confidence and resiliency, and are more likely to make healthy decisions.

What products result from these activities? Training of Steering Committee/Benchmark Work Groups, technical assistance to SC/BWG, participation in evaluation design & implementation regarding QYD process & impact.

What activities result from these resources? Recruitment of youth & adults as members of the local QYD Steering Committee, submission of a Letter of Intent & Understanding to the QYD Credential Committee, meetings to educate and recruit a broad array of community members, achievement of at least 7 of the 10 QYD benchmarks, celebration of QYD certification, evaluation of the QYD process and impact.

What resources are used to address this need? A youth development framework (40 Developmental Assets), a community mobilization strategy (QYD), youth and adult volunteers, business and municipal support, a core coordinating group (QYD Steering Committee), a place to meet, and lots of pizza.

What is the need? Youth need an array of external supports, from family, school, and the community, in order to develop the internal attitudes and attributes that will enable them to thrive as students and community members.

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