FriendCHIPS Youth Mentoring Program

Dominique Sweat, Youth Chair of the Essex QYD Steering Committee:

“I am so thrilled that Essex is now recognized as a certified Quality Youth Development Community…the Essex community empowered me as a youth. Essex truly is a QYD Community.”

Barbara Abraham, Chair of the QYD Credential Committee:

“We applaud the success of the Middlebury and Essex communities in pioneering this new community certification process. Although QYD is a new approach, it is based on decades of experience and evidence. QYD holds great promise as a strategy to promote both youth and community development”.

The QYD Project™ is a new credentialing process that measures the achievement of 10 Benchmarks by a village/town/city/region in order for it to become certified as a “QYD Community.” Achievement of this credential will demonstrate that a community is actively promoting youth engagement and youth empowerment – which have proven to be essential elements of any effective positive youth development strategy.


QYD is an acronym for “Quality Youth Development,” which is defined here as “substantive, measurable, and sustainable community actions that support, engage, inspire, and empower youth.” The attainment of this credential will become the quality standard that other communities will seek to achieve in order to retain youth in their communities and to attract residents, businesses, and employees. Inspired by and aligned with the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets model, this will be the first credentialing effort in the United States that promotes, measures, and acknowledges a community’s commitment to youth in this manner.

Become a QYD Community™

Are you interested in creating a welcoming environment for youth in your community?

Start the QYD Project™ in your town, village, city, or area! Get a committee together, complete seven of the ten benchmarks and celebrate your QYD Community™!

Learn More About the Project

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Find us:

2 Lincoln Street, 2nd Fl.

Essex Junction, VT 05452

Get in touch:

(802) 878-6982

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© 2020 by Essex CHIPS, Inc.