Youth Development Initiative

Engaging youth is a strength-based approach to improving young people's lives and health outcomes by improving their "assets." Research draws a direct relationship between assets and high-risk behavior: the more assets a young person has, the less likely they are to engage in high-risk activities, such as violence and drug abuse. In response, San Mateo County's Health System has adopted the "41 Developmental Assets" as a framework for working with young people and has committed to working in partnership with communities and organizations throughout San Mateo County to increase the number of youth-adult partnerships, influence positive school climates and foster a community that values youth.

One example of a positive youth development in practice is the San Mateo County Youth Commission. The Youth Commission is a group of youth ages 14 to 21 who reside or attend school in San Mateo County. The group meets to exchange ideas, work on projects, research, advocate youth issues, and advise county officials on youth perspectives. The Youth Commission is a project of Star Vista formerly Youth and Family Enrichment Services', Youth Development Initiative (YDI), and is supported by Health Policy & Planning.

In 2005-06, the Youth Commission developed and administered a countywide youth survey. The findings and recommendations are presented in the 2007 Adolescent Report.

If you would like to present to the Youth Commission to request input on a project, policy, issue, etc. that is relevant to San Mateo County youth, please contact Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Youth Commission Program Coordinator, seren.pendleton-knoll@star-vista.org, 650-401-8617 ext. 20.

2010-11 San Mateo County Youth Commission Public Meetings

Date: The 4th Thursday of each month between September and June; excluding December

Time: 6:15 - 8:15 p.m.

Location: The Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City