Y2CONNECT founder, Arik Marcell, M.D., M.P.H., noted that the sustained expansion of Y2CONNECT.org to the Boston Public School system is one of the organization’s greatest accomplishments. Although the Y2CONNECT pilot in Duval County schools in Florida is no longer operational, both partner sites experienced smooth transitions when implementing the Baltimore Y2CONNECT platform in their own communities using their local resources, programs, and services. Dr. Marcell described this smooth scale-up and easy translation as Y2CONNECT’s most promising practice. The technology and interface of the web platform are simple and accessible, which has resulted in the development and maintenance of expansive resource guides for youth in multiple cities.
Implications for future practices and research
The successful maintenance of Y2CONNECT’s Baltimore and Boston Public Schools partner sites show the added value that a web-based resource guide can bring to young people and caring adults looking to get plugged in to their communities. Dr. Marcell noted:
“Digital strategies can help ensure youth-focused services are readily transparent for youth-supporting professionals, parents/guardians, & youth.”
Future research efforts from Y2CONNECT will examine whether pageviews and clicks result in increased connection to and use of services among Boston youth, parents, and youth-serving professionals.