About the Collaboration
Young people face complex and multifaceted challenges when transitioning to adulthood. To help address these challenges, VPP recognizes that youth-serving organizations need to work together in a systematic, interconnected fashion. Hence, VPP applied for, and received, the SIF grant to expand the impact of high-performing nonprofit organizations. The grant made possible the formation of youthCONNECT, a network that focuses on serving a much larger number of young people than individual youth development organizations can serve alone. youthCONNECT is comprised of the following six nonprofit partners who are delivering innovative programs that enhance their core models:
- College Summit (National Capital Region)
College Summit (National Capital Region) is part of a national nonprofit that increases college enrollment rates by building capacity within school districts to guide students through the college preparation and application process. College Summit provides a combination of tools and approaches aimed at changing the culture of high schools and creating new norms among students so that they value a college degree, and truly believe it is within their reach. Through youthCONNECT, College Summit is expanding its core college preparation services to reach more students.
KIPP DC is a network of high-performing, public, college-preparatory charter schools in Washington, D.C., which serves the city’s under-resourced communities. KIPP DC is evaluating and expanding “KIPP Through College,” a program to ensure that every KIPP student develops the necessary confidence, attitudes and behaviors to succeed in college.
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) provides culturally competent services to youth in the National Capital Region who are vulnerable and at-risk. It is evaluating and growing “Promotor Pathways,” a new intensive case-management model that provides educational and social supports to students, allowing them to gain more control over their lives and achieve their academic, career, and personal goals.
Metro TeenAIDS offers a comprehensive approach to improving adolescent health and promotes responsible decision-making among youth. It is providing a health education program to 10th grade students in public charter schools in Washington, D.C., and training public charter school administrators and teachers on health education to increase their comfort, knowledge, and skills in teaching sexual health.
Urban Alliance prepares high school students from under-resourced communities for the world of work and a life of self-sufficiency. It is building its Alumni Services department; developing a curriculum outreach program to teach youth the skills they need to start a successful career; and expanding its 10-month paid internship, mentoring, and professional development programming for high school students.
- Year Up (National Capital Region)
Year Up (National Capital Region) is a one-year intensive training program that provides youth with technical and professional skills, college credits, education stipends, and corporate internships. It is implementing and evaluating a health education program to improve retention and complement a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College. This pilot program, if proven effective, can be replicated throughout Year Up nationally and adapted by other workforce development programs.
With Child Trends as its evaluation partner, VPP works with these six nonprofit organizations as an intermediary or “backbone” that unites each of the organizations into a coordinated network. youthCONNECT is based on the working hypothesis that youth-serving organizations can effectively meet the needs of young people by doing together what they cannot accomplish individually. It emphasizes the scaling up of innovative practices to enhance education and employment outcomes for disconnected youth. VPP funds and supports these practices and facilitates communities of practice among youthCONNECT partners to more effectively serve youth and leverage each other’s expertise to address the barriers that youth encounter.