Reclaiming Youth International (RYI)

Since 1997, Reclaiming Youth International (RYI) has been dedicated to the development of programs and strategies to serve children and youth who are in conflict in family, school, and community. The Circle of Courage® provides the philosophical foundation for the work of RYI.

Circle of Courage®

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development supported by contemporary research and rooted in Native American philosophies of childcare and the heritage of early youth work pioneers.

Developed by Starr’s 2nd President, Dr. Larry K. Brendtro (PhD), and his colleagues, the model includes the four values identified as the universal needs of all children: Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. These are vital signs of healthy development in environments where all young people can thrive.


Founded in 1997, Reclaiming Youth International (RYI) offers strength-based training to professionals such as teachers, counselors, social workers, psychologists and others working to help children and youth to become resilient.

RYI is dedicated to helping adults better serve children and youth who are in emotional pain from conflict in the family, school, community or with self. The Circle of Courage® provides the philosophical foundation for the work of RYI. When the universal needs of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity are met, children and youth do well. We offer cutting-edge seminars, exceptional speakers, innovative trainings, and powerful resources for all who work with children and youth. Reclaiming Youth International, a program of Starr Commonwealth, is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

Why: All Children and Youth are At-Risk

Children and youth face many challenges in communities all over the world, including conflict, violence, drugs, gang activity, trouble in school and much more. Reclaiming Youth International provides access to knowledge, resources and training for professionals who work with these children and their families from some of the world’s leading experts in positive youth development.

What: The Circle of Courage®

RYI’s philosophy is based on the Circle of Courage, which identifies the four universal needs of every child: Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. This model is trauma-informed and resilience-focused. It is designed to encourage kids to feel safe and comfortable in an environment of understanding and acceptance. All children need loving, caring, committed, consistent adults around them if they are to bloom fully.

How: Equipping Adults to Work With Today’s Youth

Professionals have access to some of the latest techniques and philosophies of working with youth through RYI’s seminars, training and consultation, as well as its bookstore. RYI has provided training to thousands of professionals from the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia and more. Contact us today about how you can bring Reclaiming programs to your area.