Helping Kids Succeed (HKS) Community-Wide Initiative

Supporting positive, healthy development for children, teens, and young adults in Hastings

Our Vision: All kids in Hastings are strong, resilient, & connected

Our Mission: Ensure every young person in Hastings has a strong web of support

Decades of research have validated what seems like common sense – young people with 5 or more trusted, caring adults (“Anchors”) in their personal web of support do better on every measure of success, take less risks, bully less, and go on to become more involved in the civic life of their community as an adult (through jobs, volunteering, parenting, etc.). When adults are connected to young people, they are much more likely to go on to live health, productive, positive lives. They make fewer harmful decisions compared to teens who don’t have caring adults in their lives.

Anchors are parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, counselors, pastors, neighbors…any trusted, caring adult who believes in a young person and has high expectations for them. 

Anchors cast “strings” of support underneath children and young people, helping them not “fall through the cracks” and develop their gifts and talents.

Our Helping Kids Succeed initiative works to:

  • Educate students and adults about the power of webs of support
  • Encourage students to connect to Anchors and strengthen their personal web of support
  • Explain the importance of Anchors to adults in the community
  • Reduce substance use of young people with stronger webs of support

For HKS presentation to your business/group: call 651-438-3337. 

HKS Handbook: free at UWH office.

Helping Kids Succeed flyer 

HKS Video:

YES Team at Coborns

Helping Kids Succeed Community Partners Coalition

A quarterly meeting bringing together leaders and citizens from across Hastings, to collaborate, share resources, and plan events supporting youth and families. 

Attendees include representatives from education, law enforcement, health care, government, the business community, as well as parents and concerned community members.

All are welcome.

Contact UWH to be added to the email announcement list.

YES Team

UWH runs a youth leadership development team made up of Hastings High School students.

YES stands for “youth empowerment and support.”

We work with HHS teachers and staff to find “emerging leaders” among the student body, and invite them to participate.

YES Team members learn the web of support model and give presentations to peers, younger students, and adults.

Team members develop valuable skills, like public speaking, project management, and marketing.

We have over 50 team alumni from the past 8 years.

Click here to watch a series of short web of support videos created by YES Team members. 


Helping Kids Succeed Handbook

Our handbook is full of great information, including an overview of the HKS model, data on the power of strong webs of support, exercises to help students and adults understand their personal web, and over 900 creative ideas on how to build stronger webs.

Pick up a free copy at the UWH office.