Youth Count was founded in November 2005.

A challenge grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways, funded by the Lilly Endowment, was met and surpassed by seven community partners

  • Horseshoe (formerly Caesars) Foundation of Floyd County
  • Community Foundation of Southern Indiana
  • Floyd County Step Ahead Council
  • Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services
  • Hope, Inc. (formerly Interfaith Community Council)
  • Metro United Way of Floyd County
  • Your Community Bank.

Extensive planning, including both community-wide and youth forums and input from various local planning and funding organizations, revealed that positive youth development is necessary to address the root cause of many community needs: high school graduation, self-sufficiency, life-skills, workforce development and more.

Youth Count was organized as a community initiative to create a community where youth are valued, investments are made in their well-being and all youth have the opportunity to succeed.

The primary tool for accomplishing this goal is the 40 Developmental Assets.

Principles of this community initiative include focusing on:

  • Strengths instead of risks or deficits
  • Engagement with youth instead of simply providing services for youth
  • Relationships instead of programs
  • Unleashing the power of asset building instead of trying to control or direct it
  • Adults and youth in the entire community instead of relying on only professionals and parents
  • Long-term objectives instead of looking for a quick fix

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