Listening to Youth: Reflections on the Effect of a Youth Development Program

Robin E. Kalish, Bridget Voigt, Afsaneh Rahimian, Joseph Dicara, Karen Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To identify key elements that contribute to the effectiveness of a youth development program, interviews were conducted with 35 former Chicago Youth Programs (CYP) participants who remained in the program until age 18 years and went on to attend college, and 25 participants who left the program (and are currently older than age 18). Of the college participants who remained in CYP until age 18, 97% reported that the program had helped them by providing tutoring, mentoring, and financial support. In comparison, only 56% of the CYP dropouts had completed some college, and nearly 50% reported being involved in illegal activities. Many of the CYP dropouts were drawn to illegal activities for financial reasons or because they felt there was inadequate adolescent programming. All reported benefiting from their CYP participation. Incorporating financial incentives or specific adolescent programming may lead to longer youth program participation and, perhaps, more positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • youth development program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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