Dr. Zaff Co-Edited and Contributed to “Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Positive Youth Development”

Dr. Jonathan Zaff, research associate professor at the School of Education, and fellow researchers have edited and contributed chapters to Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Positive Youth Development, a newly published book on the subject of comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs) and positive youth development.

CCIs are local, organized groups of institutions and individuals pursuing a common agenda directed toward a common goal. They provide a promising avenue to support the positive development of all young people. When implemented correctly, a youth-focused CCI mobilizes the human, social, institutional, and financial capital of a community to improve the lives of its young people.

In Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Positive Youth Development, experts on CCIs and youth development provide a basis for why CCIs are a potentially powerful tool for providing all young people with opportunities to thrive. The book begins with a brief history of CCIs and their impacts, followed by a proposed developmental framework for understanding how and why CCIs can be optimized. Each chapter that follows offers insights into different aspects of the multi-layered ecology that CCIs are positioned to address; from engaging youth to creating systemic change.

Communities are too often left to fend for themselves on the best ways to develop their own initiatives. This dearth of understanding coincides with an increasing push by the federal government and non-profit organizations for communities to implement CCIs to combat low educational achievement, high rates of risk behaviors, and the promotion of overall well-being.

The book was written to be useful for community-level practitioners and researchers, funders, policy advocates, and policymakers in their work to support young people throughout America.

The Center for Promise is the research institute for America’s Promise Alliance and housed within the Boston University School of Education since June, 2015. The Center is dedicated to understanding what young people need to thrive and how to create the conditions of success for all young people.