*The term “at-promise youth” was reclaimed from “at-risk youth”. At Promise Youth shows the raw potential that each individual can access within themselves if treated with promise. Society uses “at-risk youth” to describe youth in different situational circumstances that are guiding them towards failure in the educational system, and into the mass incarceration systems or low skilled jobs. “At-risk youth” is used as a label to describe children in lower socioeconomic standings, youth with parents with little education or students from undocumented working class families. “At-risk youth” is used to show the potential number of future youth that are predicted to join the statistics, despite never have been given a chance to prove otherwise. They are never given the same access to resources and guidance, nor are their lives as privileged as other students. Labeling youth as at-risk, often tends to be negative and even damaging. At-promise broadens the perspective, fills in some of the details, and reminds us that we all have natural gifts, positive qualities, and potential for goodness. The act of focusing on strengths is different than the cultural norm of zoning in on what needs “fixing”.

Resources:

http://www.drvictorrios.com/at-promise-youth.html

http://www.search-institute.org/blog/youth-at-promise-not-at-risk