Growing Happy and Confident Kids

A Special Initiative of the American Counseling Association Foundation

Young people today face innumerable challenges, possibly more than any generation before them. The world in which our kids grow and develop has been made fragile by threats both near and far.

In schools, competition to succeed, peer pressure, and aggressive behavior by bullies are representative of the many threats to individual success and self-esteem. At home, relationships can become tenuous or broken. In neighborhoods and communities, violence, gangs, substance abuse, and other problems are more prevalent than ever before. Finally, in the larger world, no child can turn on a television set and not witness crime, war, terrorism, and global unrest.

The cadre of professional counselors working with children in our schools, community organizations and counseling centers are in a unique position to help young boys and girls develop healthier views of themselves, their home, their school, their community and all of the interpersonal relationships they will encounter in their early lives.

The American Counseling Association Foundation's (ACAF), Growing Happy and Confident Kids (GHCK) initiative involves elementary schools, community organizations and counseling centers in a special project that promotes self-esteem, self-efficacy, understanding of emotions, coping strategies, and living in a diverse society.