Two teens live in the same neighborhood. One ends up in trouble, but the other one goes on to college.

What made the difference? Studies show that some teens develop an inner strength to face life’s problems.

These teens:

  • Have an adult who cares about them. Teens need adults who believe in them, who provide guidelines and who act as role models.
  • Help others. Volunteering helps teens see that they can change things for other people—and themselves.
  • Can read. Teens who can read can always escape to another world. Reading shows them a world they can hope to enter one day.
  • Know where to find answers. All teens have lots of questions. But teens who are successful know where to find answers. It may be from a coach or teacher, or in a house of worship.
  • Participate in activities. Teens who take part in scouts, sports or other activities make friends and feel good about themselves.
  • Have career goals. Studies show that achieving career or job success is the highest priority of successful teens.

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