A message from Search Institute CEO Kent Pekel. The Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success is working with the Search Institute to identify the indicators we’ll use to measure our success.

Kent Pekel

Dear Colleagues,

A year ago, I had a conversation with a middle school principal that captures a major theme of Search Institute’s new strategic focus.  That principal, who also happens to be my wife, Katie, had this to say about the work of Search Institute, the organization that I am now privileged to lead:  “I have always loved Search Institute, and I love the 40 Developmental Assets too.  I understand that kids’ lives are complex and that they need many assets to succeed.  But let’s be real, I’ve got a thousand kids in this middle school and I don’t have the time or resources to work on all 40 assets.  I wish Search Institute would identify one big asset I could start with that would lead to the other 39 over time.”

Over the ten months that I have been at Search Institute, I have talked with many educators and youth development experts who share Katie’s desire for new ways to implement Search Institute’s strength-based approach to youth development.  Today I’m pleased to share with you a new website and a new report that outlines the ways we are responding to those calls for continuity and change.

Click on the link below to download our new strategy report, and learn about how we are launching new research that identifies the key gateway assets that help young people build the full framework of 40 Developmental Assets. And visit our newly redesigned website at www.search-institute.org where you can read about how we have identified developmental relationships as the first of those gateways.  In addition, you’ll find information on how we are launching a major new study of developmental communities  where educational improvement and youth development are everyone’s top priority.

To download our new strategy report and to share your reactions to it, please click here.

Thank you in advance for your ideas and your interest,


Kent Pekel, President and CEO, Search Institute