Since 2011, the Gardner Center has partnered with Redwood City 2020 to study one of its key initiatives, the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Partnership. This report synthesizes interview, focus group, and survey data from youth participants in in-school and afterschool settings as well as community youth service providers to explore youth development in Redwood City, CA. The report examines: (1) how Redwood City youth perceive youth development settings; (2) behaviors and attitudes of Redwood City youth toward healthy lifestyle choices; and, (3) ways in which youth serving organizations support positive youth development. This study found that youth environments in Redwood City have continued to embrace features shown to promote positive youth development, including physical and emotional safety, supportive relationships, opportunities to belong, opportunities for skill building, and support for efficacy and mattering. Areas for continued attention and investigation include exploring issues related to bullying; investigating the relationship between positive trends in middle-school students’ perceptions and shifts in practice in afterschool programming; considering ways to educate adults to reduce youth’s overall access to alcohol; targeting mental health outreach and intervention efforts; and disseminating the results and engaging in conversations about the implications of the Sequoia High School Youth Advisory Board Needs Assessment Survey.
Westrich, L. (2013). Positive youth development in Redwood City, 2012-2013. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.