Overview: Stanford Center on Adolescence

Who will vote or run for political office in tomorrow's societies? Who will sit on the juries, speak up at public meetings, and contribute to the charities? Who will join the workforces and raise the families? There is just one answer to all of these questions: the youngsters who are now growing up around us.

The Stanford Center on Adolescence aims to promote the character and competence of all young people growing up in today's world. The Center's work provides guidance for parenting, for improved educational practice, and for youth development in a wide variety of community settings.

Contemporary trends worldwide have made the Center's mission urgent as well as global. On the positive side, many autocratic regimes have given way to democratic forms of governance. Yet, at the same time, emerging and mature democracies alike have seen young people disengaging from the civic institutions that make democratic participation possible. Why the lack of interest, and how can we get today's young involved in their communities in a constructive manner?

Just as troubling is the waste of potential that results from failing to acquire the skills and attitudes needed for successful careers. How can we prepare young people for competitive, entrepreneurial, and technological economy that will dominate the world tomorrow?