Since 1991, On Point has been working with teens, listening to their needs, and studying the latest research in youth development. Our experience and research demonstrates the following:
1. Teens need meaningful connections
A recent study states that an increasing number of teens are engaging in risk behaviors due to a lack of connectedness to positive adults and mentors, as well as lack of clear moral purpose. The study found that these connections were as essential to teen health as are food, water, and shelter. On Point addresses this need through our curricula by challenging students to think critically and by providing them with the positive support of small group relationships.
2. Risk behaviors cluster
Local research conducted through the Chattanooga Health Council confirms national research that risk behaviors are linked. Sexual activity among teens has been scientifically linked to poor academic performance, violence, substance abuse, increased truancy; kids involved in one of these behaviors tend to be involved in others as well. Gone are the days of treating these behaviors as stand alone issues. To meet this need, On Point's programs address the wide range of risk behaviors, helping teens see the connections and the root issues beneath them all.
3. Education is not enough, today's youth need assets
Social scientists agree that risk and protective factors related to community, family, peers and self, heavily influence an adolescent's behavior. To address these linked risk behaviors, communities must go beyond the strategy of education alone, providing on-going support and development of positive life skills. For this reason, On Point's Life On Point curricula's theoretical framework includes the Search Institute's® 40 Developmental Assets® today's young people need to thrive.