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Youth Development

March 7-11, 2022: Celebrate Me!
Celebrate Me! is a division-wide cultural awareness campaign that will include both school-based and community activities and a culminating city-wide event. The purpose is to celebrate cultural heritage and to promote a sense of belonging and membership for all Newport News students, staff, and families! Learn more.

The Youth Development Department operates on the premise that all young people will be successful when offered the right combination of opportunities, supports, and services. NNPS Youth Development is also dedicated to the wellbeing of young people, no matter what circumstances they may face.

Positive Youth Development is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth with their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people's strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths. (Source:

NNPS Youth Development Celebrates Student Empowerment

In Newport News Public Schools, Youth Empowerment and Contribution is a key component of our Positive Youth Development Model. 

During Student Empowerment Month in March, schools were encouraged to empower students to use their voices, talents, experiences, and ideas to promote positive culture and community in their schools.

Students in kindergarten through the 12th grade can provide valuable insight into their own educational journey and help develop policies and practices which foster positive experiences, relationships and environments.

The Youth Development Department coordinated four Student Empowerment Initiatives which sponsored activities throughout the month.

Youth Development’s primary goals are promoting student success, student wellness, and creating productive collaborations with stakeholders to implement quality programming that promotes overall wellbeing for all students. Here are 8 reasons why Youth Development matters:

  • There are essential skills that students need to be successful.

  • Every student should have the opportunity to get connected through at least one club, sport, or activity. Student voice matters! Every student should have the opportunity to lead and serve.

  • Healthy relationships and bonding are important for student success.

  • Students deserve an environment that is physically and emotionally safe.

  • Every student should feel like they belong in their school and community.

  • All students need to have clear and positive expectations.

  • Students and families need information and access to helpful resources.

  • Every student should get what they need, when they need it, and how they need it!