- Grantee Organization Name: Marquette University
- Organization Address (Street, City, State, Zip): PO Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI, 53201
- Organization website URL (if any): www.marquette.edu
- Brief Description of the Organization: Marquette is a Catholic and Jesuit university in Milwaukee, Wis. About 8,300 undergraduates and 3,500 graduate and professional students are currently enrolled at Marquette. Marquette's mission is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others.
Grant Project Information
- Title of Grant Project: Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES) II Project
- Amount of OMH Award: $300,000
- Name of Project Director: Dr. Lawrence Pan
Brief Description of the Grant Project
The Youth Empowered to Succeed (Y.E.S.) II project targeted middle-aged Latino youth attending Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS). The project addressed health and safety issues, focusing on violence, risky behaviors, substance abuse/prevention, and the prevention of chronic diseases including obesity and diabetes. It builds upon the successes and experiences of a prior YEP project (YES I), using a comprehensive and individualized case management approach and partnering with community resources specialized in serving the Hispanic population. YES II was developed in response to a growing concern that many youth lack the skills and support needed to succeed in school and the community. The project aimed to improve youth achievement in school, prepare youth for careers in health and human services, and help youth contribute to their communities by promoting healthy lifestyles.
Expected outcomes included increased supports and opportunities for youth, improving developmental outcomes, and improving long-term outcomes in adulthood. Goals were to increase exercise and fitness levels, increase academic achievement, increase career self-efficacy in science and math, and strengthen ethnic identity while decreasing the percentage of students who fall in the "overweight," "at-risk," and "obese" categories. The project also sought to show significantly better Developmental Assets Profile scores among YES II students when compared to an age-matched control group.
In collaboration with a YES Prevention Specialist and Program Coordinator, each of the participants developed an Individual Development/Enrichment/Action (IDEA) Plan, which reflected both the student's current strengths and areas that needed additional support. The students received culturally appropriate family sessions on healthy nutrition, reducing sedentary activity, and behavioral change. Planned group exercise activities, clubs and, modules were offered and exercise schedules were created for the students to ensure that they met the minimum requirement of exercising three times per week for 30 minutes. Marquette University undergraduate students served as mentors to the YES II students and provided career counseling, academic advice, tutorials, and social support. A 6-week trial lunch program was instituted to provide students with a more nutritious, healthy, and less high-calorie lunch option. Marquette utilized curricula that promoted goal setting, building resiliency, preventing substance use and teen pregnancy, and sessions targeting issues that affect young women. Students received afterschool tutoring/study sessions for one hour every day after school, five times a week. A 5-week YES summer program provided academic enrichment, a science club, and fitness activities. YES II staff met regularly with each student in the YES II cohort to monitor both physical and academic progress and to adjust IDEA Plans as needed. Several data collection instruments and assessment tools were administered throughout the project to assess the effectiveness of the interventions. These included the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), the Multi-group Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination (WKCE), the Measure of Academic Progress Testing (MAP), the United Way Community Outcomes Survey (UWCOS), the SHAPES-Survey, "MU" tests (skin folds, long jump, hand-grip strength, waist-to-hip ratio), and the Fitnessgram (PACER test, curl-ups, push-ups, sit-and-reach test, trunk lift, height and weight, and body mass indices). In order to assess progress on the academic achievement objective, Grade Point Average (GPA) was also added as an outcome measure. Data collection occurred for six time points throughout the duration of the project: Time 1 (T1) – First year, third quarter; Time 2 (T2) – First year, fourth quarter; Time 3 (T3) – Second year, first quarter; Time 4 (T4) – Second year, second quarter; Time 5 (T5) – Second year, third quarter; Time 6 (T6) – Second year, fourth quarter.
Key program findings reported throughout the grant period:
- Improved Performance on Fitness Measures. Preliminary evaluation of the Fitnessgram tests from February 2010 to May 2012 showed that while the YES II cohort weighed more than their age/sex matched control peers, they outperformed them on curl-ups, push-ups, and aerobic capacity-testing.
- Decreased Overweight and Obesity. The rates of participants who were obese or overweight decreased over the course of the project. The number and percentage of students in the healthy weight and at-risk categories shifted to more healthy Body Mass Indices (BMIs) (p<.007). At Time 1, 50 percent of the eighth grade YES II cohort was classified in the "obese" cohort, compared to 36 percent at Time 6. The YES II program is shifting students from both the "overweight" and "obese" BMI categories into "at risk" and "healthy" BMI percentiles.
- Lunch Program Implemented. Students who participated in the trial lunch program lost an average of 3.5 lbs. This finding demonstrates that controlling calories consumed during a "standard" school lunch has the real potential to significantly control childhood obesity.
- Improvement in Standardized Testing. Program participants outperformed their peers in a control group in four out of the five content areas of the WKCE standardized tests. The YES II cohort outperformed their control peers in four out of the five content areas of the WKCE standardized tests. In particular, the YES II males outscored their male peers by an average of 20 points on each of the five subject areas (reading, math, language, arts, science, and social studies).
- Increased Multi-Group Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) Test Scores. Results from the MEIM administered to BGMS students in November of 2009, 2010, and 2011 showed significant increases in mean scores in the YES II cohort from Time 1 to Time 3 compared to their age matched control.
- Academic Improvement. Female project participants showed a significant increase in GPA by .26 of a GPA unit between groups. YES II cohort GPAs over the life of the project did not change significantly; however, when GPAs were analyzed separately for girls and boys, the data showed a significant improvement in GPA for YES II girls, whereas, there was no significant improvement for non-YES II girls. Significant improvements were not found among boys; however, these gender differences will help target future programming.
- Increased External and Total DAP Scores Across T1, T2, T3, and T4 for the YES II Cohort Compared to the Non-YES Group. This finding is particularly important given that developmental assets have been noted to decrease in youth during middle school. The data suggest that YES programming is effective at not only buffering against this decrease, but also at enhancing external and total assets among participants.
- Selection of Three YES Program Members to Take Part in the National Engineers Week Future City Competition (Future Cities). The middle-school students partnered with engineering volunteer mentors to create their visions of their future city using computer simulation, with only six students from the entire BGMS chosen to compete in the competition.
- Enrollment of Twelve YES II Students in the Latino Arts String Program. The program stimulated cultural pride in the students and disseminated Latino musical culture throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
- Increased Student Self-Esteem. Program participants significantly (p<.05) outscored non-participants on "empowerment" and "constructive use of time" items.
Identified Best Practices
- Individualized Student Plans. The IDEA plan has been effective in setting individual student goals and providing a framework for assessing student progress and guiding and informing the project activities. The IDEA plan was the foundation for the YES program; providing individualized structure and activities for each of the participants.
- Trial Lunch Program. The project's trial lunch program showed that controlling calories consumed during a student's "standard" school lunch has the real potential to significantly control childhood obesity. Under its new YES III grant, the project aims to expand the trial school lunch program to all YES students and test the effect that calorie control at lunch and nutrition education have on body weight in Hispanic middle school students.
- Focused Physical Fitness Program. The YES II program used a focused group physical education program with exercise leaders and goals. The focused program helped to ensure that the students were meeting the minimum physical activity requirement of 30 minutes three times a week. This program was noted as having the most influence in shifting the students from the overweight and obese categories to healthy weight and at-risk weight groups.
- Close Relationship with the School. The BGMS was an active partner with the program which helped to facilitate many aspects of the project, including academic data collection.
- Community Partnerships. The YES II program established partnerships with several community organizations such as the UCC and Latino Arts, Inc., which allowed the youth to have access to culturally enriching activities.
- Mentors. University undergraduate students served as mentors to the Y.E.S. II students. The use of Marquette University undergraduates as mentors and role models for YES II students has been instrumental in reinforcing the objectives of the project and encouraging compliance from the students in meeting project activity objectives and student goals related to academic performance and physical activity. In addition, the mentors helped to foster the student's self-esteem.
- Fostering Relationships with Parents. The study leads noted in their progress report that to continue to increase outcomes for this group of disadvantaged students, parent involvement needs to be increased. Without active involvement from the parents at home, favorable changes in students' academic performance, diet, and physical activity cannot be sustained or improved. Under the new YES program, the project aims to expand the outreach to parents through the use of a community organizer and a social worker.
Related National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Goals
- Awareness: Increase awareness of the significance of health disparities , their impact on the nation, and the actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial, ethnic, and other disparities populations.
- Health System and Life Experience: Improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities and for underserved populations and communities.
- Data, Research, and Evaluation: Improve data availability and coordination, utilization, and diffusion of research and evaluation outcomes.
Related Healthy People 2020 Objectives & Subobjectives
- NWS-8 Increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight
- NWS-9 Reduce the proportion of adults who are obese
- NWS-10.2 Reduce the proportion of children aged 6 to 11 years who are considered obese
- NWS-10.3 Reduce the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years who are considered obese
- NWS-14 Increase the contribution of fruits to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
- NWS-15.1 Increase the contribution of total vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
- NWS-16 Increase the contribution of whole grains to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
- NWS-17.1 Reduce consumption of calories from solid fats
- NWS-17.2 Reduce consumption of calories from added sugars
- NWS-17.3 Reduce consumption of calories from solid fats and added sugars
- PA-1 Reduce the proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity
- PA-2.1 Increase the proportion of adults who engage in aerobic physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes/week, or 75 minutes/week of vigorous intensity, or an equivalent combination
- PA-2.2 Increase the proportion of adults who engage in aerobic physical activity of at least moderate intensity for more than 300 minutes/week, or more than 150 minutes/week of vigorous intensity, or an equivalent combination
- PA-2.3 Increase the proportion of adults who perform muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days of the week
- PA-2.4 Increase the proportion of adults who meet the objectives for aerobic physical activity and for muscle-strengthening activity
- PA-3.1 Increase the proportion of adolescents who meet current Federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity
- PA-4.2 Increase the proportion of the Nation's public and private middle and junior high schools that require daily physical education for all students
- PA-4.3 Increase the proportion of the Nation's public and private senior high schools that require daily physical education for all students
- SA-2.1 Increase the proportion of at-risk adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who, in the past year, refrained from using alcohol for the first time
- SA-2.2 Increase the proportion of at-risk adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who, in the past year, refrained from using marijuana for the first time
- SA-2.3 Increase the proportion of high school seniors never using substances – Alcoholic beverages
- SA-2.4 Increase the proportion of high school seniors never using substances – Illicit drugs
- SA-3.1 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of having one or two alcoholic drinks nearly every day - 8th graders
- SA-3.2 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of having one or two alcoholic drinks nearly every day - 10th graders
- SA-3.3 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of having one or two alcoholic drinks nearly every day - 12th graders
- SA-3.4 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of trying marijuana or hashish once or twice - 8th graders
- SA-3.5 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of trying marijuana or hashish once or twice - 10th graders
- SA-3.6 Increase the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of trying marijuana or hashish once or twice - 12th graders
- SA-4.1 Increase the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years perceiving great risk associated with substance abuse - Consuming five or more alcoholic drinks at a single occasion once or twice a week
- SA-4.2 Increase the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years perceiving great risk associated with substance abuse - Smoking marijuana once per month
- SA-4.3 Increase the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years perceiving great risk associated with substance abuse - Using cocaine once per month
- SA-14.4 Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past month - Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years
- SA-20 Decrease the number of deaths attributable to alcohol
- SA-21 Reduce the proportion of adolescents who use inhalants