NorthStar Academy
Charting a Clear Course for Teens & Their Families

Positive Youth Development

A Strength-Based View


The 6 Cs:
Competence. Confidence. Connection. Character. Caring. Contribution.


NorthStar Academy embraces the philosophy of Positive Youth Development.

Positive Youth Developtment (PYD) offers a strength-based view of adolescence consistent with the recent advent of positive psychology principles.

“The positive youth development approach aims at understanding, educating and engaging children in productive activities rather than at correcting, curing or treating them for maladaptive tendencies or so-called disabilities.” (Damon, William (January 2004). "What Is Positive Youth Development?" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591: 13–24.)

In addition, PYD as practiced at NorthStar is based on the concept that adolescents have strengths and abilities unique to their developmental stage and that they are not merely 'inadequate' or 'undeveloped' adults. We consider the potential and capacity of each student in order to optimize developmental progress.

    WHY PYD?

    • Engages youth and empowers them to build strengths and assume leadership.
      • Emphasizes competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution (The 6 C’s).
      • Improves self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-control.
    • Facilitates caring relationships with peers, parents and other adults.
      • Supports the development of a positive alternative peer group.
      • Supports contributions to family and community.
    • Encourages setting goals and making healthy decisions & lifestyle choices.
    • A positive, proactive approach that offers alternative to focusing on problems & deficits.
    • Provides rationale/framework and common understanding for decision making.
    • A research based approach, consistent with research on adolescent brain development; positive psychology, and related contemporary issues facing adolescents.