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.
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.