Mentoring Self Esteem and Building Success in Life with The Children's Aid Society in New York

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Educators and parents agree that high self-esteem and respect for others helps youth accept responsibility for their actions, and take pride in their accomplishments. Positive self esteem in teens helps gives them control of their lives. Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D., a well known psychotherapist, defines self esteem as 'being able to experience oneself as...coping with the challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness.' That sounds a lot like Charles Loring Brace, the founder of New York City-based Children's Aid Society, who believed that children had the right to a happy and productive life.

Mentoring programs have proven to be especially helpful in fostering self-esteem.  Through mentoring, self esteem develops and responsibility for oneself, family and community follow.

Youth Empowerment for Success, or the YES Mentoring Program, was founded in New York in 1992 in conjunction with The Children's Aid Society to address the needs of the adolescent males coming through the Family Court system. YES for Girls was created in 1997. The award-winning YES Program is a unique collaboration that addresses the educational, social and emotional needs of this at-risk population. By fostering pride and self-validation, YES mentors guide youth towards positive self-identity.

Healthy self-esteem is a child's armor against the harsh challenges of the world. Kids and teens who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. You can help kids become involved in this experience - YES is looking for energetic, committed men and women to be part of the YES team. For more information, click here.


My experience

My development was certainly effected by the intervention of a mentor. I remember feeling lost until joining my local ATC. I was taken under the wing of an instructor (who I'm still in contact with). The importance of a mentor can't be overstated.

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your inspiring post. It’s really essential to build up self esteem from childhood. Self esteem activities boost your self esteem, confidence and your ability to experience peace and happiness. I would like to share some self esteem activities which I found on and I hope it will be helpful for all.

1. Awareness - waking up to your thoughts, feelings and behaviors
2. Choice - consciously choosing the thoughts you think
3. Change - altering your thoughts, feelings and actions

Very good points. There seem

Very good points. There seem to be a great deal of talk these days about how helpful self esteem is to children. No doubt false praise does not help. But we have found a method that works. Developed in Denmark, this method uses stories combined with relaxation therapy to create an environment for children where self esteem and the feeling of self worth can be nurtured and strengthened. Check it out :-)