Building Developmental Assets through Change

by Elizabeth Franco

Fall often brings change to many families; change in grade levels, change in schools, change in extracurricular activities.  We know that change is a part of life and that we should embrace it, but it can be scary, especially for children!

How do we cope with change in our lives?  How do we help our children cope with changes? According to Dr. Carol Dweck, psychology professor at Stanford University, helping youth develop a growth mindset gives them the ability to cope with challenges in their life.  According to StepitUp2Thrive, we as parents can help our youth develop a growth mindset by recognizing that they are facing a challenge and noticing the specific efforts that they are making to meet this challenge.

For example, my 9 year old was very nervous about the first day of school and being in a multi-age class with older students.  I acknowledged that this was a challenge for him and listened to him tell me about his worries.  Then I tried to follow Dr. Dweck’s advice by recognizing specific efforts he was making to cope with this change.  When he said that some of the older students were nice I told him that I liked how he could find some good things in his new class.   It has been a few weeks now and it is paying off, he no longer is afraid of the big kids in class and realizes all the great things they bring.  I really knew his mindset has shifted when he told me the other day that he was always nervous at the gym when the older boys were at practice with him, but now he realizes it is not so scary after all!

For more information on growth mindset visit:

As for the staff at Project Cornerstone, we are keeping a positive growth mindset as well.  We are happy to welcome aboard our new team members:

  • Caitlin Bitcon, Thrive Champion
  • Mary Crum, Youth Partnerships Coordinator
  • Anh Nguyen, Vietnamese Outreach Specialist
  • Claudia Rossi, South County Outreach Coordinator
  • Anne van Tonningen, School Support Specialist
  • Yvonne Gunter, Social Work Intern

And we look forward to showing off our new home:

       80 Saratoga Avenue
       Santa Clara, CA 95051

Have a great September!


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