Helping Kids Thrive

By Steven Gordon, Lemonade Day National President


Mentoring Students


As I sit down to write this blog, my heart is heavy for our nation and humanity. Fundamentally I know that there is more good, kindness and positivity in our world than not, but recent events in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX test my outlook and hope for our futures.

In 2007, Lemonade Day was founded to cultivate a mindset in young people that they can be successful contributors to their communities. We believe that if we encourage positive behaviors such as building self-reliance, stronger character, and discipline, we can ignite a spark at a young age that “you can achieve your dreams”.

Lemonade Day’s program is grounded in Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. Search Institute identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Their research reveals that when a child experiences more positive assets, they are more optimistic and successful in their development and have a brighter future. When there are fewer assets present, the possibility increases that a young person will engage in risky and problem behaviors.


Kids Learning


To read more about Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, click here. I’ll share some highlights with you. The developmental assets are divided into External assets and Internal assets. Here’s how they break out:

EXTERNAL ASSETS - The supports, opportunities, and relationships young people need across all aspects of their lives.

Support - Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them.



Empowerment - Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.




Boundaries and Expectations - Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking rules, and encouragement to do their best.



Constructive Use of Time - Young people need opportunities—outside of school—to learn and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.


INTERNAL ASSETS - The personal skills, commitments, and values they need to make good choices, take responsibility for their own lives, and be independent and fulfilled.


Commitment to Learning - Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.




Positive Values - Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy life choices.



Social Competencies - Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions, and to cope with new situations.



Positive Identity - Young people need to believe in their own self-worth and to feel that they have control over the things that happen to them.



Lemonade Day takes ALL the 40 Developmental Assets and further categorizes them into 4 areas. They are:

SET A GOAL – Asset areas – social competencies, planning and decision making, positive identity, and personal power

MAKE A PLAN – Asset areas – social competencies, planning and decision making

WORK THE PLAN – Asset areas – empowerment, community values, and youth

ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS – Asset areas – positive identity, personal power, self-esteem, sense of purpose, positive view of personal future


Mentoring Programs


We Need You!

Our youth entrepreneurship program encourages adult mentors, school and youth organizations, and corporations to provide kids with opportunities to learn valuable lessons and develop a drive to become successful. And if you don’t believe a child can learn leadership through a lemonade stand, talk to Mikaila Ulmer of Me and the Bees, Rohit or Siddharth Srinivasin of TrashBots or any number of our Lemonade Day kids who have utilized our resources to become successful business owners.

Lemonade Day helps young people feel valued, respected and known. I’m inviting you to be part of Lemonade Day’s growing movement to develop youth entreprenuers who grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible entrepreneurs and leaders. And kindness and positivity will win every time!

Lemonade Day is seeking to add more licensed communities, recruit more Lemonade Day business owners, mentors, volunteers, and sponsors. Won’t you be part of our exciting program and watch the youth of today become our leaders of tomorrow!

Please share this blog with your friends, family members, and co-workers. All of us at Lemonade Day appreciate your support!

I welcome your comments and suggestions any time. Please email me at

For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit

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