Urban youth, from communities like Brooklyn, face serious issues of identity development, racism, sexism, police brutality, poverty and other social issues every day.

Brooklyn high school student studying for SAT w/ NY Cares and Kaplan

The larger emotional network of extended family and community, along with the basic structure of how a society divides and distributes income, wealth, jobs, education, health care, housing and opportunities for youth influence what children understand about themselves and their relationships in the world.

What is their lived experience of society’s failure to anticipate their needs and strengths, protect them from harm, support their healthy development, or otherwise help to organize their world to permit a transition to employment, partnership and citizenship?

We work alongside urban teens as adult allies sharing a common view of social justice.

Read more about Social Justice Youth Development

Our relationship building process is embedded with certain elements designed to trigger attachment and positive bonding to adults. That’s how we are able engage at-risk kids to partner with us in their own development — actively involved in cultivating of the social and other assets that they need to succeed.

Not only helping to build skills and develop the resiliencies they need to successfully navigate through life, but by also endowing them with the cultural capital, social assets, and the support they need to be able to better understand and respond to the complex hidden social, economic, and political forces that bear upon their lives.

Cre8tive YouTH*ink’s philosophical underpinnings are rooted within the positive youth development movement, but we know that know that a big part of how adolescents develop “assets” is within the context of positive, supportive relationships.

Teens Grow up in Communities – Not Programs!

Is our Brooklyn, the same land of opportunity as yours? Do we live in the same Borough?

Attachment bonds form the basis for one’s beliefs and expectations — influencing one’s perceptions, emotions, and reactions to others. It is through the prism of these core beliefs that children interpret and remember events, get to know themselves, understand their minds, and perceive social or intimate situations.

Most city high school kids travel 2-3 hours out of their neighborhoods to and from school each day.


  1. I applaud efforts directed toward facilitating positive development of youth who are more prone to fall into the, “At-risk” category. My direct experiences as a former, at-risk youth, juvenile delinquent & ex-felon has afforded me a particular insight on this matter over all that enables me to identify crucial areas to be addressed to facilitate positive youth development. I would welcome an opportunity to share my perspective.

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