Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

Flaming the spark within

Some people know their spark at a very early age, but for most of us, finding our spark is a journey of self-discovery that takes place over time between the ages of 10 and 20 years (and beyond).  

A spark, or the potential for a spark, exists within each person.  Adults - parents, teachers, coaches and others - can play a big role in helping young people discover and develop their spark.  And it all begins with a conversation.

The Search Institute recommends

  1. Find a time to talk or take advantage of the right moment to start the conversation.  Maybe this is begins by noticing when a young person is most happy or interested.  Or maybe it begins when your child says, "there's nothing to do!"
  2. Find out more - ask a question or two, and then listen to the answers.  What is interesting, rewarding, or fun about this activity? How can you do more of it?   Where can you take this interest or talent?  How can you learn more or get better?  How can I help you develop?
  3. Follow through - help flame the spark by encouraging and recognizing the interest or talent; creating or finding opportunities to build skills; teaching, coaching or mentoring. 

Young people aren't the only ones who benefit from these conversations.  Your relationship may deepen, and it may bring out the best in you too!

Listen to Dr. Peter Benson, former President and CEO of the Search Institute talk about the importance of nurturing the passions of young people in this 20-minute talk. 


The Yukon Kids Rec Fund was established in 1999 to provide financial assistance to low-income families to enable their children to participate in sport and recreation activities.  For more information on how to access and apply for funding, visit

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