Developing empathy in in young people isn’t only important for the wellbeing of society. According to Dr. Borba, “a healthy sense of empathy is a key predictor of which kids will thrive and succeed in the future.” It goes beyond fueling us to stand up to bullying and comfort one another through hard times, it increases our own mental health, leadership skills and overall wellbeing.
The Muskingum Behavioral Health Prevention Team will be implementing the Empathy Project once a month on Saturday and on special days, when school may not be in session. Students 13-18 can attend these sessions to learn about the needs in our community and participate in community projects. The students will learn about the population they are helping and will also engage in hands on projects.
The Goal of the Empathy Project is to enhance six of the Search Institute 40 Developmental Assets. (Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development-known as Developmental Assets-that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.) This project will be focusing on introducing the following developmental assets;
Internal Assets-Positive Values
Internal Assets-Social Competencies
Partnering with other community entities will allow this project to gain youth participants. We are in the process of developing referral process from Muskingum County Juvenile Court and hope to build up to partnering with school’s key clubs, national honor clubs, sports teams, government classes, and any student who is wishes to make a difference in their community and learn at the same time.