About NCYI

Who We Are

National Center for Youth Issues provides educational resources, training, and support programs to foster the healthy social, emotional, and physical development of children and youth. Since our founding in 1981, NCYI has established a reputation as one of the country’s leading providers of teaching materials and training for counseling and student-support professionals. NCYI helps meet the immediate needs of students throughout the nation by ensuring those who mentor them are well prepared to respond across the developmental spectrum.

To date, NCYI has placed materials in and provided training to over 40,000 schools in all 50 states. Last year alone, NCYI placed more than 75,000 counseling resources in schools throughout the country. The range of issues addressed has grown substantially, encompassing subjects ranging from bullying and violence prevention, to drug and alcohol abuse, depression, suicide, and anxiety, as well as life-skills development and social-emotional learning. As the role of student support professionals continues to expand, NCYI has broadened the range of topics, offering resources to address such challenges as: Internet safety, overcoming learning differences, childhood obesity, social and emotional learning, self-injury, ADHD, bi-polar and autism spectrum disorders.

NCYI also hosts local, regional, and statewide “Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives” educator training events (with over 100,000 educators trained), and provides conference management services to help school districts, professional educator associations, and government agencies as they work to improve life outcomes for children and youth.

People shopping at a bookstore

Our History

In 1981, Project 714 was founded to address substance abuse in one Chattanooga, TN high school. The organization evolved into STARS (Students Taking a Right Stand), a single-focus provider of substance abuse prevention and intervention mentorship programs. We quickly learned that destructive behavior is part of an overall problem in the lives of students – family dysfunction, a lack of positive core values, and the absence of a coordinated system of assistance from trusted adults. We began to develop materials, curricula and support programs to teach good character traits, basic civic virtues, and habits for healthy living. Word of our programs quickly spread to schools outside Chattanooga, TN generating a national constituency and a new name – National Center for Youth Issues. Today, we are known as one of the primary providers of character education and life-skills development materials, training, and services across the nation. More than 40,000 schools across the country have used materials and services provided by NCYI, influencing the lives of over twelve million children and youth.

Our Vision

The National Center for Youth Issues aspires to be America’s premier clearinghouse for resource materials, training and support services to advance the social, emotional, physical, character, and life-skill capacities of today’s children and youth.

To accomplish this goal, we will:

  • Provide relevant teaching tools and resources to entities able to most effectively impact the largest number of children and youth.
  • Proactively identify trends in youth issues, providing timely and culturally diverse response resources.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations and recognized authorities on youth culture and development.
  • Utilize electronic and print media to disseminate helpful information to those working to advance the health and well-being of children and youth.
  • Participate in, promote, manage,and conduct local, regional, statewide, and national educator training conferences.
  • Maintain the highest standard of professional business conduct, ethics, and accountability.
Teacher and Student talking

Programs & Services

Training Events  High-quality professional development at local, regional, statewide, and national training events hosted by NCYI. 

Speaker’s Bureau Expert, nationally-recognized presenters, and facilitators for your own professional development events and conferences. Customized for any organization or youth issue.

Managed Conferences A full spectrum of conference management services, enabling schools, districts, professional educator associations, and government agencies to host their own high-quality youth development events.

Video & Print Resources Hundreds of videos, books/storybooks, curricula, games and activities to address specific youth issues. These include perennial classics, such as Broken Toy, classroom editions of VeggieTales, workbooks and instructional manuals like Mindset Matters and Integrating Growth Mindset in Schools, and storybooks by internationally-known author Julia Cook, and many others

Consulting Services On-site expertise to craft strategic responses to specific problems and issues arising in schools, housing authorities, youth organizations, parents’ groups and houses of worship.

Research Research initiatives, and monitoring of outside research initiatives, related to youth issues and character education.

Public Advocacy Advancing awareness of current youth issues among the media, government and the public.

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