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  • Meredith Shaw

Filling Lifepacks Together: Supporting TTC Supports Healthy Youth Development

What made a difference for you?

When you were younger, what positive relationships and experiences had an impact in your life? What skills were you learning, what values were you growing, and who were the people

invested in your growth? What did you have in your lifepack? What and who helped you “become”?

Lifepack? What’s a lifepack?

You can’t actually see a lifepack, but we all have them. As kids grow, their lifepacks are filled with skills, abilities, mindsets, relationships and resources to live resilient, thriving lives now and throughout their futures. Another term for these essentials is Developmental Assets. (learn more at

So, what are Assets?

Assets are beneficial by nature, and having them promotes healthy behaviors and protects from unhealthy behaviors. Assets include: supportive peer and adult relationships, opportunities to serve others, a sense of purpose, strong and caring schools, a community that cares about youth and sees them as resources. Assets are just as important as youth’s

physical needs like a safe home, healthy food, clean water, and warm clothing. What we know is that youth with more Assets in their lifepacks are more likely to be resilient and healthy, and less likely to engage in a wide range of unhealthy and harmful risk behaviors — behaviors that may lead to substance use, mental illness, harm, and violence.

How do Assets grow?

Assets develop through positive relationships, caring connections, constructive experiences, and healthy communities. Assets are added to lifepacks from a wide range of interactions with family, teachers, coaches, neighbors, peers and others in the community. For us, as caring adults, it is through our connections with young people that we can support them in building self-esteem, interpersonal skills, a commitment to learning, and a sense of purpose (to name a few), which are all Assets that promote healthy decision-making and thriving.

Assets sound important! How can I help more kids in our community?

By donating to Tri-Town Council, you are filling Tri-Town kids’ lifepacks! Supporting kids and families throughout our community is a great way to help all of our young people thrive.

How does TTC help fill lifepacks?

TTC offers programs, resources and opportunities that help youth and their families at all ages and stages. From after-school classes, social events, and youth mentoring programs to workshops and speakers for caring adults, our programs support Asset-building experiences, healthy foundations, resilience, discovery, and connections.

TTC programs make a difference!

Reflecting back on her younger self, Masco junior Divya* characterized herself as a quiet and somewhat anxious tween. Being a participant at TTC’s Welcome to Masco Fun night as a soon-to-be-7th grader forged a connection with TTC, leading Divya to serve as a group leader at the same event a year later. She reflects, “I signed up to be a volunteer at the fun night because I wanted to be that person who helped welcome 7th graders to Masco. I wanted to do what others had done for me.”

And it didn’t stop there! In addition to returning for three years to be a group leader at the 7th grade event, Divya served as a virtual tutor and Girls4Girls mentor. Recently reflecting on her experiences helping others, Divya was struck by how much her confidence grew and how much more connected she feels to the Tri-Town community now because of her participation in these TTC programs. (Since 2013, over 1800 new 7th graders and high school leaders have been a part of TTC’s annual Welcome to Masco event!)

Charlie*, a Tri-Town 4th grader, has always been interested in how things work, so each year, when TTC publicizes the summer Camp Invention dates, he is one of the first to sign up. He attended camp again this past summer. Charlie’s mom shared that for Charlie, exploring his interest alongside his peers—with the encouragement of teen camp counselors and STEM educators—has nurtured and deepened his interest in design and engineering. She shared, “Charlie loved that he could be creative and is ready to do it again next year!” Now he even defines himself as an inventor! (Since 2012 Camp Invention has nurtured the STEM interests of almost 1000 Tri-Town youth!)

*Names changed for privacy

These stories illustrate how lifepack-filling opportunities to serve, find purpose, be responsible, build self-esteem, and nurture creativity help youth grow.

Let’s fill lifepacks together

Will you help TTC continue our work supporting youth, families and community? Your donation will be put toward these lifepack-filling activities:

  • Programs that elevate youth voice like Photovoice and YAAB (Youth Action Advisory Board)

  • Opportunities for positive peer connections in our mentoring programs and at TTC’s Welcome to Masco Fun event for new 7th graders

  • Creative learning through Horizons—offering enrichment programs such as Tastebuds Kitchen and Get Outside and Explore

  • Safe and substance-free social opportunities for Tri-Town teens throughout the year, like Winter Open Gym Nights and the graduating seniors’ All Night Graduation Party

  • Parent/caregiver programs on healthy development, substance use prevention, mental health, and more, like the recent Managing Big Feelings workshop, and new Parent/Caregiver Connection groups

  • Promoting healthy youth norms and decision-making by supporting TTC’s youth substance use prevention Coalition’s community partners and leaders

  • Providing programs that nurture connections among youth, family and community

Your support matters!

With a donation to Tri-Town Council, you are strengthening and supporting healthy, caring, connected kids, families and community. Together, let’s help our Tri-Town youth as they “become”.

Will you help us fill lifepacks? Will you give today?

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