YDS assures that all members have positive experiences that contribute to a positive sense of self-esteem. This is done by developing A Sense of Competence, A Sense of Usefulness, A Sense of Belonging, and A Sense of Influence. When this strategy is fully implemented, the self-esteem of girls and boys is enhanced and an environment is created which helps them achieve their full potential.
A Sense of Competence
A feeling that each youth can do something well and be respected by his or her peers and those they respect. The challenge of applying this part of the YDS is to find ways to assure youth (even the least talented) that they can do something well.
A Sense of Usefulness
A feeling that each youth has something to contribute and the opportunity to do something of value for other people. This can be accomplished by having youth take responsibility for tasks, such as cleaning up, handing out supplies, keeping records, or by having the group do something for someone else, such as sending pictures to people in the hospital.
A Sense of Belonging
A feeling that the youth fits in and is part of the group.
A Sense of Influence
A feeling that the youth have a chance to be heard, listened to, and can influence decisions. This can be very open-ended for teens. For younger youth, it can mean being given a choice as to what activity the group will do first.