Celebrating Success

Strengths profiles

Planning, writing and displaying strengths profiles are a collaborative process between young people, carers, educators and helping professionals. They are not a one-time exercise, and at best, should be done periodically as milestone markers and as a celebration of a child or youth’s individual journey towards self-confidence and maturity.  Strengths profiles:

  • are written up with the young person at your side;
  • must be driven by a strengths-based approach and should bring out the best in young people; nothing negative or disparaging should be written;
  • are unique – in that they should be an expression of the individual for whom the profile is collaboratively written
  • must be made as interesting as possible; it should be visually appealing with good artwork and should contain flattering photographs chosen by young people themselves.

Download Richard’s strengths profile

Celebrating human interest stories 

Human interest stories are taken as ‘hero stories’ of young people who are proud of achieving something significant – be it passing the PSLEs or scoring the winning goal at a school soccer match.  The media is rife with what could be called ‘terrorist narratives’ of young people in the wrong, whether it concerns glue-sniffing, under-age sex, gambling, theft, or other forms of anti-social behaviour. It is difficult to ignore the negative impact such discourse has on young people.

 At an individual level, celebrating human interest stories are about affirming strengths and capacities, and nurturing self-esteem in ways that make a young person feel valued by their communities.   Human interest stories can be celebrated by:

  • blowing up and framing positive publicity on young people for display
  • having caregivers and significant others write encouraging notes on human interest stories that are displayed
  • Creating a ‘wall-of-fame’ where stories, whether it is written by peers, caregivers or other adults, are put up.

Download Ellynawati’s story