Thriving Adolescents

Investing in California’s adolescents so they thrive.

Isadora Kosofsky/CatchLight for Stuart Foundation

Celebrating the power and potential of adolescents, and supporting their learning, growth, and leadership. 

Adolescents are a vibrant segment of California’s population, engaged in a powerful period of discovery, growth, and learning.  Through their leadership and engagement, they play an essential role in creating more equitable and inclusive schools and communities.  

We are striving to create the conditions in public education that enable each and every young person to learn, grow, and thrive. Volumes of research, and the lived experience of young people, tell us that a public education system designed for thriving adolescents should include:   

• Quality, well-resourced public schools that are joyful places of learning and discovery;  

• A commitment to rich and engaging academics and equitable outcomes;    

• Caring relationships with adults and peers that support authentic youth voice and agency;    

• Safe, inclusive environments that affirm an adolescent’s identity and a full sense of belonging;   

• Well-being and healing, including social-emotional development and robust mental health support;    

• Integration of arts and creativity for personal expression and collective meaning-making;    

• Opportunities for active civic and democratic engagement; and    

• The chance to develop personal passions with clear pathways to post-secondary opportunity, including formal higher education and a meaningful, sustaining career.  

While public schools with these attributes exist throughout California, they are not the norm for many adolescents – and they should be. Our efforts are focused on building a deeper understanding of adolescents in California that celebrates them for their gifts and contributions, as a means to catalyze the investments and improvements needed to support their thriving.