Search Institute bridges research and practice to help young people be and become their best selves. We’re proud to say we’ve been in the “relationship business” for 60 years – and in that time more than 10,000 youth-serving organizations have utilized our research, professional development, and practical resources to help young people thrive.
A Message from President Dr. Kent Pekel
As we get deeper into our research on developmental relationships, it becomes even more apparent that young people who experience a strong web of meaningful connections do better in life. They are more likely to report a wide range of social-emotional strengths and are more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.
But did you know that a recent SI study reported 40% of youth have only one or no relationships with a meaningful adult in their lives? That concerns us because at Search Institute we’ve learned that young people who lack critical developmental relationships are more likely to participate in risk behaviors. They receive lower grades and are much less motivated to succeed in school than their peers.
So our work continues.
Through our research and research-to-practice partnerships, we hope to bridge the relationships gap that exists for young people – especially those from marginalized communities. Thank you for supporting us as we strive to achieve our goals. Dr. Kent Pekel
Image: Search Institute and partner Student Conservation Association.
At Search Institute, we are taking steps through continued research and practice to spread the Developmental Relationships Framework, and to understand how to best serve the needs of youth – especially those in marginalized communities.
A Highlight of Current Projects
- Working with youth and families in the child welfare system to understand how they define well-being vs. the administrators who service them.
- Developing and testing tools at the ground level so organizations can be more intentional and inclusive, especially when working with marginalized communities.
- Providing young people who are disconnected from home, school, and work — who we and others are increasingly calling opportunity youth — with pathways to work that can lead to self-sufficiency.
- Training educators and youth workers across the United States in practical but also powerful ways to build developmental relationships in schools and programs.
- Exploring the ways that the relationships that young people form in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities promote positive youth development.
- Developmental Relationships Poster Launch. The bi-lingual (English and Spanish) poster makes the framework easily accessible to schools, out-of-school time programs and any other youth-serving organizations.
- An article describing how our research is identifying the actions that occur within relationships that help young people be and become their best selves, “Finding the Fluoride: How and Why Developmental Relationships are the Active Ingredient in Interventions that Work,” appeared in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
- Data from our 36-month aggregate “Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behavior” survey were recently published in the top tier medical journal, Pediatrics; and, mentioned on CNN and in the Washington Post.
- The Relationships for Outcomes Initiative (ROI), which focuses on creating strategies and tools to support organizations in being more intentional and inclusive in their efforts to strengthen relationships with and among all the young people and families they serve, has successfully moved into it’s second phase. We are beginning to work with our partners to create strategies and tools that equip organizations to be more intentional and inclusive in their relationship-building efforts.
- Our new Keep Connected website places a focus on relationships and the family by offering free interactive content on strategies for family engagement as well as a relationship-based approach to family engagement for schools, youth organizations, and community organizations.
- The Society for Research on Adolescence recognized our work with the 2018 Award for Organizational Excellence in Research and Programming for Youth.
- The National Afterschool Association named us one of the most influential organizations conducting research and evaluation relevant to the out-of-school time sector.
Image: Search Institute partner conference.
Image: Search Institute partner Save the Children / Youth in Action. Uganda.
2017 By the Numbers
Youth Took Search Institute Surveys
Education & Youth Development Professionals Attended or Viewed Search Institute Webinars
Education & Youth Development Professionals Attended a Search Institute Workshop
$ in 1000’s
Image: Search Institute partner Joan Kroc Community Center. Dance Class.
Funders and Donors
Search Institute is grateful for the support of the Funders, Major Partners, and Donors who make our work possible.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Einhorn Family Charitable Trust
Esther Ting Foundation
Ford Family Foundation
F.R. Bigelow Foundation
Otto Bremer Trust
National Science Foundation
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Saint Paul Foundation
Sauer Family Foundation
U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences
Bloomington Public Schools – Bloomington, MN
Communities in Schools
Guadalupe Alternative Program
Life House Duluth
Little Falls School District – Little Falls, MN
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Inc.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
National Center for Families Learning
Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School – St. Paul, MN
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative
Partner for School Success
Pequot Lakes School District – Crow Wing County, MN
Pine River-Backus School District – Pine River, MN
Risen Christ Catholic School – Minneapolis, MN
Sauk Rapids-Rice School District – Sauk Rapids, MN
Save the Children Canada
Sebeka School District, Sebeka, MN
SOAR Career Solutions
SPARK: Stronger Futures for All – Itasca Area, Northern MN
Staples-Motley School District, Staples, MN
Student Conservation Association
University of Arizona, Tucson
University of California, Los Angeles
Upsala School District – Upsala, MN
U.S. Dream Academy
Venture Academy, Minneapolis, MN
West Virginia University – Morgantown, WV
World Vision International
YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities
Best & Flanagan, LLP
Cary & Debra Bowers
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Dave L. Hedlin
Bill McCabe & Deb Neuger
Kent & Katie Pekel
Ann & Reid Shaw
Carol and Lynn Truesdell
Board of Directors
Support Search Institute
Search Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. All contributions are tax deductible.
©2018 | Search Institute