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Oakland Kids First: Peers Advising Students to Succeed Implementation Study

Kristin E. Geiser and Brandy P. Quinn
Publication Date: 
December, 2012

Oakland Kids First (OKF) is a nonprofit organization that informs district-level policy regarding meaningful family and student engagement and implements youth development programs serving high-school students throughout Oakland Unified School District. Peers Advising Students to Succeed (PASS-2) is OKF’s peer academic advising program that trains older students to teach freshmen about high school graduation and college-eligibility requirements through workshops and mentoring. It is also a strategy for integrating the social justice foundation of youth organizing with the evidence-based practices associated with positive youth development at school. PASS-2 has evolved to become a complex program serving over 1,400 students in 11 high schools. OKF engaged the Gardner Center to conduct a year-long implementation study designed to inform its planning for effectively expanding and scaling PASS-2.  The implementation study affirmed some of the elements of PASS-2’s preliminary logic model and pointed to new elements that may help clarify and strengthen its future vision. A promising finding was how PASS-2 expanded traditional notions of positive youth development to include a social justice framework that embraced contribution as an entry point rather than an end point in efforts to support positive youth development in Oakland’s high schools.

Suggested citation: 

Geiser, K.E. and Quinn, B.P. (2012) Oakland Kids First: Peers Advising Students to Succeed implementation study.  Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.

Related Researcher(s): 
Bay Area
Policy area: 
College, Career, and Civic Readiness