I attended the rollout of Best Buy’s @15 TeenVoice 2009 study on Monday, July [correction: June] 8.  Best Buy built the @15 website as a place for teens to find each other and express themselves and their concerns for the world, as well as suggest where Best Buy should donate its money to truly make a difference.  Best Buy tapped experts from around the country to mentor the teens and study their feedback.

Best Buy and its many partners, including the Search Institute, and its Advisory Board have created a simple and elegant tool for measuring and developing youth development goals. Richard Lerner, an @15 board member from the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, was particularly enthusiastic about the new positive language that evolved from the project, based on three concepts:

1 – Identify the SPARK that lights up a teen (talents, interests, strengths)
2 – Measure the TVI (Teen Voice Index) which monitors teen involvement in social issues and civic life
3 – Measure the ROI (Relationships & Opportunities Index) which measures the community support around a teen

For those of you familiar with YPulse, Anastasia Goodstein is a board member for this initiative and has a great blog post summarizing the information and what adults and communities can do to help support positive youth development.