FY 21- HFY1
PM – HOW MUCH: NUMBER OF YOUTHS SERVED
The YETS Program served 23 new youth, which is 92% of the half year target. Due to COVID-19, the YETS Program encountered challenges in transitioning to a virtual system which directly impacted the number of youth they were able to serve in the first half of 2021. The program also faced challenges in recruiting, enrolling and maintaining participants due to the pandemic. Many of the families faced financial hardships; therefore, lacked the resources to complete the program. In order to address these challenges, the provider focused on the following to ensure that they are recruiting, enrolling and providing effective and efficient services to the youth:
- Increased Outreach Efforts – Staff organized various meetings with school staff in order to share information about the program services and eligibility requirements. These schools included: The International High School at Largo and the Potomac High School. The YETS program also partnered with Employ Prince George’s to recruit participants interested in earning their GED prior to enrolling in the workforce development program. Staff also distributed flyers to community events in Prince George’s County; including three different COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund events.
- Technical Equipment and Other Resources Provided to Participants – The YETS program provided technical devices to the youth in order participate and complete the program, such as: tablets, laptops, computers, phones and additional study material. The provider also distributed food to the families and provided rental assistance to eliminate some of the financial barriers that affected the youth’s ability to complete the program successfully.
As a result of these efforts, three new youth were enrolled in the program and three new youth are scheduled to participate in the program in January.
FY 20- HFY1- LAYC- O’YETS Program:
PM: Number /Percent of youth complete an academic program
PM: Number/ Percent of youth who complete a Character Development program
PM: Number/ Percent of youth who complete school or obtain a Diploma/GED by the end of the program
The provided stated that the consistent challenge that they continue to face pertains to the enrollment phase, where the potential applicants do not show up to meet with program staff to complete the application. Program staff are diligently following up with interested clients via phone and email to set up an appointment that works best for them.
Another challenge that presents in the program is that the GED can take up to 18 months before the client successfully pass all four sections of the exam. Their progress towards their GED exam can further be delayed due to the various personal challenges they face such as parenting, unemployment, and skills deficiency to name a few. The program staff work with each client to address these barriers through one on one sessions with the GED instructor, ongoing case management, job readiness training, paid internships, and connecting to employment opportunities.
Participants seeking to complete their high school education, continued attending GED classes to increase their academic level for the four subjects included in the GED exam (English, Math, Social Studies, and Science). To prepare participants for the GED exam, Program Staff implemented an online platform, which also allows them to use it from home. Additionally, program staff continue to do bi-weekly follow-ups to address the youth’s transportation and parenting barriers such as providing SmartTrip cards and aiding them in finding child care assistance. Lastly, Program staff have begun to provide incentives to improve youth’s attendance to ensure that youth complete the Job Readiness Program.
PM: Number of youth who completed the Character Development Curriculum
The O-YETs program did not meet this target as a result of fluctuating attendance of youth. Many of the youth have personal obligations such as; employment or children they look after, which can potentially, prevent them in being consistent in attending the sessions. The Workforce Program, which the O- YETS youth are referred to, experienced a transition in staff. A whole new team began during the time period of February through April, 2019. Unfortunately, this caused a delay in starting the Life Skills Sessions and as well as how many participants who were engaged in the program. As a result, only 22 of the youths referred by YETS staff participated in the Life Skills Sessions.
PM: Number of youth who completed School or obtain GED
11 participants completed their GED. Participants in the GED/Workforce Program have up to 18 months to complete all sessions of the GED. This requires for participants to score a 145 or higher in the four exams which focuse in the core contents of Math, English, Science, and Social Studies. Youth are referred to the program all year around; therefore their expected completion date is different. However; many of the youth encountered certain barriers such as; deficiency in literacy and/or numeracy due to the extended period of time they have been out of schools. In addition, many of the youth also had personal obligations such as employment or children they look after; which can potentially increase the time frame necessary for the youth to successfully pass all sessions of the GED.
PM: Number of youth who increased their knowledge of professional development as a result of participating in Job Readiness Training
The provider made many efforts to recruit and provide services to youth in the targeted communities. Unfortunately, the provider did not meet the target because many of the youth were unable to commit to completing the sessions. Many of the parents work various shifts daily and many of the youth have personal obligations such as looking after their siblings. This factor potentially prevented the youth to be consistent in attending the sessions. In addition, some of the youth assisted their families financially. They are employed and are unable to commit to the sessions. The Workforce Program, which the O- YETS youth are referred to, underwent a transition of staff. A whole new team began during the time period of February through April, 2019. Unfortunately this caused a delay in recruiting and engaging more youth for the Job Readiness Sessions. As a result, only 19 of the youths referred by YETS staff participated in the Job Readiness Sessions and took a JRT Pre/Post Assessment. Out of the 19 youths, 12 of the youths referred increased their knowledge of professional development. The provider is taking more measures, from lessons learned and best practices, in order to ensure that they are more successful the following fiscal year (FY-20).
FHY1: YETS has kept attrition low, given this is their first year operating as a disconnected youth program. Begininnging in FY19 this program was concerned about students having prior needs that needed to be met even if they were by definition a disconnected youth such as: not having transportation, not having identification, language barriers. Technical assistance was provided and YETS was able to include another case manager to assist in serving disconnected youth. They are currently on trend to meet their target