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A Web of Relationships

The web of support that can open doors to academic, economic, and career success, so that all young people can reach their life goals.

Social Capital: A Web of Supportive Relationships

Social capital are the resources that arise from a web of relationships that young people can use as they pursue their life goals. The entire web of relationships– including peers, family members, teachers, and others– matters. Different relationships within the web can offer different types of resources and opportunities that may be valuable to a young person during different stages of their life or as they work towards different goals.

About Social Capital

Benefits of Social Capital

Young people who report higher levels of social capital including stronger and more diverse webs of support, report greater progress toward their education and career goals, more self-efficacy toward reaching their life goals, and a greater commitment to helping others reach their goals. Social capital not only leads to greater individual success among youth, but also contributes to a greater collective impact for our next generation of young people.

Youth with higher levels of social capital tend to report greater progress toward education and career goals, higher levels of self-efficacy, and a greater commitment to helping others (score 0-100) than youth with low or medium levels of social capital.

Progress Toward Educationand Career Goals So Cap graph Self efficacy So Cap graph Commitmentto Helping Others So Cap graph

The Transformative Role of Social Capital

Social capital has helped young people reach their goals, check out their stories.

Social capital at the intersection of practitioner wisdom, youth voice and developmental science

The Power of Social Capital

The Power of Social Capital is a summary of emerging research that highlights the importance of measuring social capital and its impact on young people.

Mentoring Relationships as Catalysts for Strengthening Youth Social Capital

Search Institute partnered with DREAM to unpack ways developmentally strong mentoring relationships are experienced by youth and how these relationships impact their lives including their social capital.

“It Was a Support Network System that Made Me Believe in Myself”

Search Institute partnered with six youth and young-adult serving organizations to better understand how social capital helps young people secure education and employment opportunities.

Organizations and Social Capital

Supporting youth in building and strengthening their social capital requires an intentional and inclusive focus on relationships that is fully integrated into what an organization or school already does. Schools and youth-serving organizations that do this work well are social capital promoting organizations.

In order to help organizations become promoters of social capital, we developed the Social Capital Framework. This framework identifies four core domains, or levers, that are essential on the pathway towards becoming a social capital promoting organization.

Related Resources on Web of Relationships

5 Steps for Building and Strengthening Student’s Networks image.

5 Steps for Building and Strengthening Student’s Networks

A playbook developed by Clayton Christensen Institute to help organizations implement and adapt strategies, tools, and metrics that build and strengthen students’ networks.

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Using the Web of Support Framework image.

Using the Web of Support Framework

CERES Institute’s Web of Support Framework is a tool designed for use by youth-serving professionals and by youth, themselves, to define and visualize current and potential supports in an interconnected web.

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Cultivating Connections image.

Cultivating Connections

A framework developed by Education Strategy Group that offers a roadmap for those looking to help students better recognize, build, and leverage networks and relationships, and more purposefully integrate social capital development into educational pathways.

Learn More