A Workshop For Leaders Who Want to Create Schools and Programs Where All Young People Experience Developmental Relationships That Help Them Be and Become Their Best Selves 

Getting Relationships Right

Why kids need relationships to be "right." The research.

Research being conducted at Search Institute is demonstrating that when young people experience relationships with adults that are characterized by five essential elements, their outcomes are significantly better in a wide range of areas – from mastering social and emotional skills to succeeding in school – and risk behaviors such as drinking, smoking, and fighting are significantly lower. 

Getting Relationships Right will put you on the path to creating a relationship-rich environment that will enable all young people to thrive.

The workshop prepares participants to return to their schools and programs to lead professional development sessions and organizational improvement efforts that help staff build developmental relationships with all of the young people that the organization serves. To help them achieve that objective, leaders leave the workshop with:

What will Getting Relationships Right help me do? 

Instructions for facilitating interactive professional development activities that engage staff in thinking and talking about ways to strengthen relationships in their organizations.


PowerPoint slides accompanied by suggested scripts that they can use to provide staff with compelling information on the power of relationships to improve youth outcomes and the five elements of a developmental relationship.


The Getting Relationships Right Workbook, which includes six practical tools that leaders can use to help staff become more intentional and inclusive in their approach to relationships.



The Developmental Relationships Youth Activities Book, a resource that leaders can share with frontline staff to help them build relationships with and among students by implementing more than two dozen engaging activities that also strengthen social-emotional skills. 

Teams of at least two or more people from schools, youth programs, and other organizations that serve young people. While teams can be comprised of people who play many different roles, at least one member of the team should be a leader who has responsibility for the professional development of staff or other important aspects of organizational improvement.  

Who should attend?

Yes! Studies that scholars at Search Institute and elsewhere are conducting are showing that relationships are the “active ingredient” – like fluoride in toothpaste – in schools and programs that succeed with all young people. That is why if you don’t get relationships right, you are unlikely to achieve the outcomes you seek and your young people deserve.

Is it REALLY worth my time?

Download the

Getting Relationships Right

Fact Sheet

If you don’t get relationships right, you are unlikely to achieve the outcomes you seek and your young people deserve. 

Registration and pricing

MARCH 6-7, 2019


Daily Schedule

8:30 AM: Breakfast and Registration

9:00 AM: Workshop Start Time

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch 

4:30 PM: Workshop End Time


The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community 

Center Chicago, 

1250 W 119th St, Chicago, IL 60643

Directions from DoubleTree


Jim Conway 

CEUs Available

12 clock hours


$745 early bird price through January 4th, 2019

$795 January 5th through February 22nd, 2019

Recommended Hotel

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Alsip

(group name: Search Institute 2019) 

5000 West 127th Street

Alsip, Illinois, 60803

*breakfast, lunch & refreshments provided

(Onsite training for your team!)

Can't Make These dates? Bring the Workshop to YOU!

Please contact marys@search-institute.org for information on group discounts (groups of 5 or more) or with any questions.

Kent Pekel is an educator who has worked at the school, district, state, federal, and university levels. Throughout his diverse career, he has sought to bridge the divides that too often exist between educational practice, research, and policy. Kent is currently President and CEO of Search Institute, an internationally recognized not-for-profit organization that conducts applied research in and creates solutions for the fields of education and youth development.

Prior to joining Search Institute in 2012, Kent served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium, where he led the creation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, a college readiness program for middle and high school students that has been adopted by more than 200 schools in eight states, engaging more than 100,000 students each year. During his time at the consortium Kent also led the launch of the Minnesota Principals Academy, a year-long executive development program that to date has engaged more than 400 Minnesota school leaders in the study and replication of high performing schools and systems. 

Kent served as Executive Director of Research and Development in the Saint Paul Public Schools from 2000-2005, a period when students at every level made significant academic gains. He also led departments and initiatives focused on research and evaluation, technology, fund development, policy, high school reform, and school choice. From 1995-2000 Kent held several senior staff-level positions in the Clinton Administration, including White House Fellow assigned to the Director of Central Intelligence, Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education. Kent began his career as a high school social studies teacher in his home state of Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota.

About the Facilitators

Kent Pekel, Ed.D.

President and CEO, Search Institute

Fatima joined Search Institute in 2017 to provide strategic leadership and oversee development and coordination of the Relationships for Outcomes Initiative (ROI). In her, she works closely with institutional and youth-serving community partners across the U.S. who are focused on improving youth outcomes by building developmental relationships with and among young people. She also consults with youth-serving agencies to build their capacity, provide high-quality youth programming and advance racial equity. In her more than 20 years in youth development, Fatima has gained extensive experience in program development and evaluation, project management, community outreach and engagement.

Before coming to Search, Fatima was the Director of Workforce Development for a local nonprofit for under-served youth and adults in North Minneapolis and the Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods. Prior to that, she led the vision and strategic direction of the citywide out-of-school time system for the City of Minneapolis. A skilled facilitator and trainer, Fatima has provided technical assistance to a number of local and national county-based human service systems and youth-serving organizations. She also serves as a consultant assisting youth-serving agencies to build their capacity in order to provide high-quality youth programming and advance racial equity.

Fatima Muhammad

Director of Youth and Family Solutions,
Search Institute

Jim Conway is a veteran trainer and speaker with over 25 years experience providing training and consultation to youth serving professionals and volunteers in educational and community-based organizations in the US and abroad. He has designed and delivered major training for Search Institute since 1995. For the last decade he also served as a lead trainer and presenter for Vision Training Associates. 

Jim has also served as a member of the national training team, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College, MA. 

Prior to beginning his career as a trainer and speaker on positive youth development, Jim served for 15 years in leadership roles of various programs for children and young adolescents.

Jim Conway

Trainer, Search Institute

Getting Relationships Right is a collection of resources for professional development and organizational improvement that enable leaders of youth programs, schools, and other youth-serving organizations to strengthen the relationships they build with young people. The content of Getting Relationships Right is based upon the applied research that Search Institute is now conducting to understand and strengthen the role of developmental relationships in the lives of all young people, notably including those who are growing up in marginalized communities and who face barriers to success such as poverty, racism, and discrimination. 

Please download and review the rest of the Getting Relationships Right Acceptable Use Policy here:

PLEASE READ: Getting Relationships Right Acceptable Use Policy

Airport & Transportation

The closest airport is Minneapolis- St. Paul International airport (MSP), approximately a 20- to 30-minute drive from downtown, where the workshop will be held. 

Airport Transportation

Rental Car: All major car rental companies are available at the airport. 

Light Rail: Minneapolis' light rail's Hiawatha Line runs every 7-15 minutes and will take you to the US Bank Stadium Station, just blocks from the hotels, in less than 30 minutes. Cost is $2.25 (at rush hour) or $1.75 (off-peak times). Once you arrive, contact your hotel for complimentary shuttles to pick you up and take you to the hotel.

Taxi: Available 24 hours a day, taxi service will cost from $30-$45. Lyft and Uber are also available.

Super Shuttle: SuperShuttle offers shared van service for $16 per person. Call 800-258-3826 to schedule or for more information.

Once you are downtown, bus and lightrail trains are readily available.



Coming soon

About Search Institute

For more than 50 years, Search Institute® has been a leader and partner for organizations around the world in discovering what kids need to succeed. Our 40 Developmental Assets are use worldwide and have been translated into __ languages. Our research, resources, and expertise help our partners in organizations, schools, and community coalitions solve critical challenges in the lives of young people.

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