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Swarthmore College

Name of OMH Grant Program:  Youth Empowerment Program
Initial Year of Funding:  FY 2009
Project Period (Number of Years):  3

GRANTEE INFORMATION

  1. Grantee Organization Name: Swarthmore College       
  2. Organization Address (Street, City, State, Zip): 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081
  3. Organization website URL (if any): www.swarthmore.edu Exit Disclaimer
  4. Brief Description of the Organization: Swarthmore College is a liberal arts institution that offers more than 600 courses to a diverse student body. Since 1864, Swarthmore has prided itself on producing students who commit their pursuits to advancing the common good.

GRANT PROJECT INFORMATION

  1. Title of Grant Project: Blueprints (Phase II)
  2. Amount of OMH Award: $300,000
  3. Name of Project Director: Imaani J. Greene

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE GRANT PROJECT

Project Blueprints is a continuation of a supplementary educational program that Swarthmore provides to at-risk minority youth from the Chester Upland School District. Neighborhoods in Chester, Pennsylvania, a predominately African American city of 34,000 people, are prone to a number of community risk factors, including economic disinvestment, which contribute to poor health and educational outcomes for students. The Blueprints intervention focused on enhancing student academic achievement, life skills, personal development, and career exploration by providing tutoring and mentoring, facilitating workshops, and conducting field trips.

The grantee utilized Swarthmore College students, who resembled the diverse backgrounds of the program participants, as culturally competent tutors and mentors. Key areas of academic focus pertained to strengthening grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, and practical math skills. Small-size tutoring sessions of two to three students ensured that participants received individualized attention. Additionally, college preparedness workshops and job-shadowing opportunities expanded participants’ knowledge of higher education and career readiness. Artistic elements were incorporated into the program to support cultural enrichment. 

Community engagement and peer education were also integral components of the Blueprints intervention. Blueprints participants were trained as Peer Leaders who conducted interactive workshops with middle-school students, expanding the reach and influence of the initiative. Anticipated long-term outcomes of the Blueprints program included decreased participation in risky health behaviors (e.g. drug use), improved literacy and math skills, improved understanding of social and workforce development skills, and enhanced self-efficacy and sense of pride as a member of the community.

Modeled after the Youth RiskBehavior Survey (YRBS), the Blueprints Participant Survey included several indicators of riskbehavior, as well as questions that measured commitment to education, relationships with peers and adults, and commitment to community service. A staff observation of participants, using the Participant Social and Workforce Skills assessment tool, was also conducted to determine progress toward improved development in these areas of focus. Focus groups were conducted with Blueprints participants at the end of each program year.

Key program findings reported throughout the grant period:

  • Improved educational achievement. A comparison of data from year 1 and year 3 of the program revealed improved homework completion, attendance, and classroom behavior. A separate pre-test and post-test of grammar revealed that mean grammar scores increased from 33 percent to 53 percent.
  • Student promotion to the next grade level.One hundred percent of participants were promoted to the next grade level at year end vs. a school-district average of 87 percent among non-participating same-grade students.
  • Improved graduation rates and college enrollment.One hundred percent of cohort participants graduated ontime in June 2012 vs. a 44 percent four-year graduation rate among the local school district.  One hundred percent of Blueprints participants launched into post-secondary education at the end of the YEP grant, compared to a 63.3 percent college-going rate among the district as a whole.
  • Enhanced self-esteem and commitment to community engagement. At the end of the year focus group, 89.9 percent of participants answered affirmatively to the question “Do you view yourself more as a leader now?” and 100 percent of participants answered affirmatively to the question “Do you feel your participation in this program has positively impacted your feelings about being a Black person and a part of the larger Black community?”

RELATED NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR ACTION TO END HEALTH DISPARITIES GOALS

  • Data, Research, and Evaluation: Improve data availability and coordination, utilization, and diffusion of research and evaluation outcomes.

RELATED HEALTHY PEOPLE 2020 OBJECTIVES & SUBOBJECTIVES

  • AH-2 Increase the proportion of adolescents who participate in extracurricular and out-of-school activities
  • AH-3.1 Increase the proportion of adolescents who have an adult in their lives with whom they can talk about serious problems
  • AH-3.2 Increase the proportion of parents who attend events and activities in which their adolescents participate
  • AH-5.5 Increase the proportion of adolescents who consider their school work to be meaningful and important
  • AH-5.6 Decrease school absenteeism among adolescents due to illness or injury
  • FP-9.1 Increase the proportion of female adolescents aged 15 to 17 years who have never had sexual intercourse
  • FP-9.2 Increase the proportion of male adolescents aged 15 to 17 years who have never had sexual intercourse
  • FP-10.1 Increase the proportion of sexually active females aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom at first intercourse
  • FP-10.2 Increase the proportion of sexually active males aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom at first intercourse
  • FP-10.3 Increase the proportion of sexually active females aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom at last intercourse
  • FP-11.1 Increase the proportion of sexually active females aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom and hormonal or intrauterine contraception at first intercourse
  • FP-11.2 Increase the proportion of sexually active males aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom and hormonal or intrauterine contraception at first intercourse
  • FP-11.3 Increase the proportion of sexually active females aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom and hormonal or intrauterine contraception at last intercourse
  • FP-11.4 Increase the proportion of sexually active males aged 15 to 19 years who use a condom and hormonal or intrauterine contraception at last intercourse
  • FP-12.1 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who received formal instruction on abstinence before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.2 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who received formal instruction on abstinence before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.3 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who received formal instruction on birth control methods before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.4 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who received formal instruction on birth control methods before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.5 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who received formal instruction on HIV/AIDS prevention before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.6 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who received formal instruction on HIV/AIDS prevention before they were 18 years old
  • FP-12.7 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who received formal instruction on sexually transmitted diseases before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.1 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about abstinence before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.2 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about abstinence before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.3 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about birth control methods before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.4 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about birth control methods before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.5 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about HIV/AIDS prevention before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.6 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about HIV/AIDS prevention before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.7 Increase the proportion of female adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about sexually transmitted diseases before they were 18 years old
  • FP-13.8 Increase the proportion of male adolescents who talked to a parent or guardian about sexually transmitted diseases before they were 18 years old
  • 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-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-3.5 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-13.1 Reduce the proportion of adolescents reporting use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days
  • SA-13.2 Reduce the proportion of adolescents reporting use of marijuana during the past 30 days
  • SA-14.4 Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past month - Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years



Content Last Modified: 1/3/2014 2:49:00 PM
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