At TYAN, our focus is on promoting Positive Youth Development and highlighting the value of Youth-Adult Partnerships (YAPs). Through a grant funded by the Department of State Health Services, we are able to help youth organizations implement the positive youth development model in communities throughout Texas. We have over 80 community partners in the state, and have reached over 100,000 people through our program. But, why is PYD so important?

Maternal and Child Health breaks adolescence into 2 age groups: 10-17 (youth), and 18-24 (young adults). Texas Youth Action Network (TYAN) assists programs that serve youth in both of these age groups. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, adolescents make up 1 out of 5 Texans. This life stage is an intense period of self-discovery for youth and young adults. Their physical, psychological and behavioral health can change drastically. TYAN is here to offer evidence-based assistance to youth organizations so that all youth can be set up for a successful future.


TYAN defines PYD as a philosophy, not a program or model, that guides communities in how to organize services, opportunities and supports so that young people are engaged and reach their full potential. It is a shift in how to work with youth that engages all youth as assets, instead of seeing them as problems to fix. The goal of PYD is for youth to become fully functioning adults with economic self-sufficiency, healthy family and social relationships and community involvement. PYD focuses on building positive attitudes, skills and behaviors, which in turn reduce risky behaviors.

We also emphasize incorporating youth voice into organizations and programs, which allows youth to take ownership and share power with caring adults. This empowers youth to engage confidently with adults and their communities, but also allows adults to see the value in sharing the table with youth who have creative ideas to solve issues or address problems in their communities. While committing to this kind of philosophy may seem challenging at first, we have compiled a list of resources to help you implement the PYD approach in your own communities. Check them out below!

As we close out year 5 of the TYAN project, we are so excited to see the continued growth in Texas communities and look forward to the partnerships we will build with groups in the future. Be sure to check back next month for an introduction of who keeps the TYAN program on the tracks! If your organization is interested in becoming a TYAN community partner, please don’t hesitate to reach out!



Organizations interested in starting or expanding their youth-adult partnerships can apply to be a Community Partner. As a Community Partner, organizations can access to exclusive materials, technical support, funding, and more!