Youth Development

Significant Role of Adult

It is important for students to have strong relationships with adults to plan for life after high school. Students need someone that recognizes and supports their dreams, strengths, and talents to help them reach their goals and work through life’s challenges.

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What makes adult roles significant?

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Significant adults are those who:

  • Are trusted and respected by students
  • Take an individualized approach with students
  • Meet students where they currently are in life
  • Help students continue to learn about themselves
  • Recognize dreams, strengths, talents and needs of students
  • Encourage students to make decisions, solve problems and have their own voice
  • Provide students with honest feedback
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Helping students with disabilities transition into adulthood

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Youth Development, Bringing it All together

Relationships are Key! Adults can help students bring these six skill areas together:

  • Self Management Skill Development
  • Disability Awareness
  • Independent Living Skills Development
  • Leadership Skills Development
  • Self-Determination Skill Development
  • Self Awareness
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What Can Significant Relationships With Adult Mentors Do For Students?

Students can benefit from strong relationship with adults in many ways, including:

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Building Relationships

Adults can introduce students to opportunities that match their goals after high school, including careers and more education.

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Skill Development

Adults can teach students real-world skills to succeed at work, in school, and beyond.

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Adults can support students in knowing that adults respect their opinions, goals, interests and values.

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Adults can help build trust by knowing that the adults at school, home and work are always focused on making sure students have what they need to be successful and independent.

Career Interested


Building Teacher Student Relationships



Latest Events

Check out the calendar for events that may interest you.


Want to Learn PA Secondary

Want to learn more?

Check out this booklet from the Transition Coalition which includes information about the various roles in transition.

Relationship Mapping Strategy