Need for YO! Baltimore
Nationally, nearly one-third of public high school students and almost one-half of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans fail to graduate from public high school on time (see www.americaspromise.org).These numbers are consistent for Baltimore City high school students as well. According to the most recent census data collected, there are approximately 20,000 young adults in Baltimore City who are out-of-school, unemployed, under-employed or unable to earn a living wage. They lack the educational credentials and career skills needed to support themselves and their young families. Research and common sense suggest that without the opportunity to make the transition to the workplace, youth in these circumstances are highly susceptible to risky behaviors that could lead to significant negative consequences for themselves and their neighborhoods.
Employment and Earnings
YO! Baltimore participants are working more and earning more money, despite having less available time to work.
- YO! members earn 35% more and are employed at a 42% higher rate than non-participants.
- More than 1,000 YO! members are currently employed.
Criminal activity lower among YO! Baltimore participants.
- YO! members are one third less likely to be arrested and convicted than non-participants.
- YO! members are half as likely to be arrested for violent crimes than non-participants.
- The crime recidivism rate for active YO! members is 14% lower than non-participants.
Educational gains seen for both in-school and out-of-school youth.
- Out-of-school YO! members achieve GEDs at twice the rate of non-participants.
- The dropout rate for in-school YO! members is half the rate of the general population at the four targeted Empowerment Zone area schools.
YO! Baltimore in-school participants had better attendance, a higher graduation rate, and a lower dropout rate than the other students in their schools. Out-of-school YO! Baltimore participants earned GEDs or re-enrolled in high school and earned their diplomas at a higher rate than comparable youth who did not participate in the YO! program.
Teen birth rate among females in YO! Baltimore program substantially lower than comparable peers.
- Female YO! members are 25% less likely to become pregnant and give birth than non-participants.
Survey results show successful community collaborations.
- 94% of survey respondents believed YO! Baltimore met or exceeded their expectations.
MOED surveyed community organizations in an attempt to gauge how effectively YO! Baltimore partnered and collaborated with its surrounding communities. An analysis of the results shows that YO! Baltimore successfully developed strong partnerships with other youth service providers.
Comparison To Other Urban Youth
YO! Baltimore places highly in national rankings.
- YO! Baltimore placed ninth out of 36 in a composite ranking of the national Youth Opportunity programs.
- YO! Baltimore placed among the top ten programs in five of six performance benchmarks.
Internship Program Evaluation
Employers very pleased with YO! Baltimore internship program.
- More than 90% of supervisors reported that the YO! participant was “good to excellent.”