Researchers have identified common characteristics of effective programs for teens (Hall, Israel and Shortt, 2004):
- Youth feel a sense of independence through participation in the program, including financial independence (wages or stipend).
- Programs offer job skills, job preparation, job training, and actual employment opportunities.
- Schools and principals are active partners.
- Youth are supported as they work to navigate life after high school.
- Youth voices are incorporated into decision making, and participants feel that the time they have dedicated counts.
- Youth interact with peers and adults, including community and business leaders.
- Youth are exposed to life outside of their immediate neighborhood.
- Programs are flexible.
Hall, G., Israel, L., & Shortt, J. (2004). It’s about time! A look at out of school time for urban teens. Wellesley, MA: The National Institute on Out-of-School Time.
youth.gov Program Directory
The youth.gov Program Directory features evidence-based programs whose purpose is to prevent and/or reduce delinquency or other problem behaviors in young people.