What are the 10

QYD Benchmarks?

The QYD Project™ is a new credentialing process that measures the achievement of 10 Benchmarks by a village/town/city in order for it to become certified as a “QYD Community™”. Achievement of this credential will demonstrate that a community is actively promoting youth engagement and youth empowerment – which have been proven to be essential elements of any effective positive youth strategy.


QYD™ is an acronym for “Quality Youth Development”, which is defined here as “substantive, measurable, and sustainable community actions that support, engage, inspire, and empower youth”.

The attainment of this credential will become the quality standard that other communities will seek to achieve in order to retain youth in their communities, and to attract residents, businesses, and employees.


Inspired by, and aligned with, the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets model, this will be the first credentialing effort in Vermont that measures and acknowledges a community’s commitment to youth in this manner.

The 10 Benchmarks a village/town/city needs to achieve in order to receive the QYD Community™ certification are based upon a community’s commitment to:

I. Welcoming, inclusive, and accessible space in the community for any youth (including LBGTQ youth, youth of color, disadvantaged youth) to gather safely when out of school.

II. Funding by the community in support of youth programs.


III. A professional youth-mentoring program serving the community.

IV. An elected community youth council, consisting of high school students that will advise the community on issues directly and indirectly related to youth.

V. “Youth Are Welcome!” posters displayed by downtown businesses.


VI. The engagement of youth as members of the Board of Directors of local non-profits providing services to youth.


VII. Youth access to social services and resources outside of a school setting.

VIII. An annual youth conference or legislative forum for middle and high school students.


IX. Effective recruitment of young people for local community-wide committees.


X. Creation of internship/employment opportunities for youth in local government and businesses.

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