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PASS-2: Putting Youth Contribution at the Center of Positive Youth Development in Oakland High Schools


Positive youth development literature suggests that adults can create settings that support youth development across five foundational dimensions: competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring, and this, in turn, will enable youth to develop a sixth dimension: contribution. During the 2011-12 academic year, the Gardner Center had the opportunity to conduct an implementation study of the Peers Advising Students to Succeed (PASS-2) program run by Oakland Kids First (OKF). The purpose of the study was to clarify PASS-2's theory of action and to understand youth and adult participants' experiences of the program in order to inform efforts to improve, sustain, and scale implementation. This issue brief presents and expands upon a subset of the findings regarding the role of contribution in the context of PASS-2's approach fostering positive youth development. The PASS-2 implementation study relied on qualitative data collected from students, teachers, and administrators in five Oakland high schools; OKF staff; and PASS-2 mentor alumni. Data collection included a review of planning documents, curriculum materials, and student work samples as well as 60 hours of fieldwork including observations, interviews, and focus groups. Analysis of key findings suggested that youth contribution fostered: (1) broad and equitable youth participation, (2) authentic and reflective leadership, and (3) development across the other five foundational dimensions.

Suggested Citations:

Quinn, B.P. and Geiser, K.E. (2013). PASS-2: putting youth contribution at the center of positive youth development in Oakland high schools. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.


Putting Youth Contribution at the Center of PYD Issue Brief.pdf

Brandy R Quinn
Kristin Geiser
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