top of page

What are the 10

QYD Benchmarks?

The 10 Benchmarks are based upon a community’s commitment to:


I. Welcoming, inclusive, and accessible space in the community for any youth (including LGBTQ+ 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.

The 10 QYD Benchmarks are inspired by and aligned with the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets:

External Assets


Family support — Family life provides high levels of love and support.


Positive family communication — Young person and their parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek parent(s) advice and counsel.


Other adult relationships — Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.


Caring neighborhood — Young person experiences caring neighbors.

Caring school climate — School provides a caring, encouraging environment.


Parent involvement in schooling — Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.



Community values youth — Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.


Youth as resources — Young people are given useful roles in the community.


Service to others — Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.


Safety — Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries and Expectations

Family boundaries — Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.


School boundaries — School provides clear rules and consequences.


Neighborhood boundaries — Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.


Adult role models — Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.


Positive peer influence — Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.


​High expectations — Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use of Time

Creative activities —Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.


Youth programs — Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.


Religious community — Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.


Time at home — Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do,” two or fewer nights per week.

Internal Assets

Commitment to Learning

Achievement motivation — Young person is motivated to do well in school.


School engagement — Young person is actively engaged in learning.


Homework — Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.


Bonding to school — Young person cares about their school.


Reading for pleasure — Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Positive Values

Caring — Young person places high value on helping other people.


Equality and social justice — Young person places a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.


Integrity — Young person acts on convictions and stands up for their beliefs.


Honesty — Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”


Responsibility — Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.


Restraint — Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

Social Competencies

Planning and decision-making — Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.


Interpersonal competence — Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.


Cultural competence — Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Resistance skills — Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.


Peaceful conflict resolution — Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

Positive Identity

Personal power — Young person feels they have control over “things that happen to me.”


Self-esteem — Young person reports having a high self-esteem.


Sense of purpose — Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”


Positive view of personal future — Young person is optimistic about their personal future.

bottom of page