Why Project Success? Project Success was developed after assessing the needs of over 600 local youth and surveying100 local business leaders and determining the areas in which our youth are challenged, such as: Career Direction, Work Experiences, Employment Opportunities & Employability Skills, Juvenile Delinquency, Discipline, Time Management, and disconnection from the Community. Project Success will educate our youth (14 – 21 years old) in attaining crucial skills of leadership, Career Direction, Job Shadowing, and work experience and create a safe environment for our youth to develop meaningful, realistic future careers and become productive citizens. Project Success will build a strong sense of community among our youth through community engagement. The most immediate benefit to the community is that our youth, our future leaders, will take an active role in enriching our region. Currently there are no other programs in Monroe County that specifically have the same goals or provide employment, job training, or employability skill training services for this population (youth ages 14-21).
What is Project Success? Project Success is a leadership program that consists of seventeen (17) three to five hour sessions that was designed to help our youth to attain crucial skills that will address the issues we found in our research. The curriculum will cover the following:
Tier I: Classroom Training, Orientation, Team Building, Leadership Cores, Living in a Diverse Community, Identifying and pursuing personal and career goals, Career Exploration, Enhancing employability and life skills (World Of Work), Resume Writing & Mock Interviews, Communication Skills & Public Speaking, Community Involvement (Getting to know your community), Decision Making & Problem Solving, Government, Youth & the Law, all leading towards graduation.
Tier II: Community involvement
Tier III: Job Shadowing
Tier IV: Post Project Assistance (Work-Experience)
Does Project Success really work? Y.E.S. has been conducting a pilot program of Project Success since October 2010. Twenty in-school local youth (14-17 years old), from all four school districts were chosen to participate in the project (55% male, 45% female; 44% African American, 23% Hispanic, 28% White, 5% Others; 100% Economically Disadvantage; 90% Barrier to Employment). They have been attending three to five hour sessions on every other Saturday since October 2010 and have completed the Tier-I of the project thus far. The results as of April 20, 2011 are as follows: 95% completed Tier-I; 80% have been assigned to the mentor; 80% have signed up to volunteer in the community; 85% have applied for employment (seasonal or after school); 70% have had an interview; 30% have secured employment; 70% will participate in Job Shadowing.
Community Response: By involving our educational and business leaders as presenters, speakers, and mentors during and after the project is done; the whole community becomes a part of the project and its success. Volunteers include leaders such as: Kathleen Kuck, President/CEO, Pocono Medical Center; Dr. Matthew Connell, Dean of Northampton, Monroe Campus; Karl Weiler, Chairman, Weiler corporation, Suzie Farley, Corporate Secretary, ESSA Bank & Trust; Dr. Alla Wilson, Dean of College of Business and Management, East Stroudsburg University; Patricia Metzgar, Vice President, Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce.
Community Leaders Feedback:
“I want to commend you on a great job that you are doing with Project Success. Those students were fantastic today. I hope we can put together a video to get support for these programs.” -Patricia Metzgar
“Just wanted to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate with the Youth Employment Services mock interviews on April 16, 2011. I had a pleasure to interview eight teenage participants, and let me tell you, I was extremely impressed how well prepared these kids were. What astonished me was their enthusiasm, and demonstrated interviewing skills. All of them were articulate with their answers, even though they were young. Their preparation was evident in their communication skills, verbal and non-verbal. I’m sure none of these kids will have difficulties in achieving their employment goals in the future.” -Julio Masdiaz, Business Development Specialist, PA Department of Labor & Industry
“I had the opportunity to work with the youth on career exploration and resume writing. They were motivated, excited about what they were learning and they were willing to learn. I had such a great time teaching them about resumes and how to present themselves. They all did an excellent job!!” -Kim Jones, Workshop Coordinator, PA CareerLink
“Great program, excellent results.”-Dr. Alla Wilson
“Outstanding project! I am looking forward to having it at MCTI.” -Dr. Thomas Rushton
What is the next step (what are we proposing)? The next step is to use the format and research from the pilot to instate a similar program in all four of our areas school districts (Pocono Mountain, Pleasant Valley, Stroudsburg, and East Stroudsburg) and Monroe Career & Technical Institute (MCTI). Y.E.S. is working in conjunction with these schools to better serve Monroe County youth and to address the challenges they are facing. Y.E.S. already has a commitment from East Stroudsburg University (ESU), Northampton Community College (NCC), and MCTI to work together to enhance the curriculum and conduct and operate the same project in the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Y.E.S will implement a program in all local school districts as well as one in MCTI, with 25 students each (ages 14-17). Two more programs will be conducted at ESU and NCC with 25 participants each (ages 18-21), totaling 175 participants. All projects will start in September 2011 and will end in July 2012.
Projected Outcome for 2011-2012
Upon completion of the project, the participants will:
Learn the fundamentals of leadership and self sufficiency; Gain a clear understanding of their career choice; Gain experience in their desired career field; Develop the path to reach their career choice; Be assigned to an expert mentor in their career field; Work as an intern in their career choice; Be a volunteer for a community service organization; Act as a peer mentor for new participants.
100% Return to school
70% Place into internship/job shadowing
50% Employment (part-time / seasonal)
80% Place into GED program
40% Place in unsubsidized employment
10% Place in Skill Training programs
40% Internship/job shadowing
Outcome Measurement System/Evaluation Process: Enrollment into Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) Management; Completion of Y.E.S. Application; Pre-personality and interest assessment test; Enrollment into Workforce Database System; Placement into appropriate program; Weekly contact during program; Six month follow-up on each participants; Pre and post evaluation on each participants during & at the completion of programs; keep in contact through mentors; Create alumni club to continuously monitor their progress.
Where is the MONEY? Y.E.S. funds for all its programs mostly come from partnering with United Way of Monroe County, the local Business Community, Educational Institutions, the State Legislators, local Government, Pocono Counties Workforce Investments, Sanofi Pasteur (new), and Pocono Community Grant (new). Y.E.S. and Business/Education Partnership of Monroe County (Y.E.S. sister organization “Subsidiary”) Board of Directors also are the funding sources for the projects. We are respectfully requesting $30,000 for (1.) the expansion of Project Success to all four school districts within the county serving up to 60 more youth and (2.) the facilitation of the other three running projects. All projects will start in September 2011 and conclude in June 2012.
What we want to accomplish?
Our short term goals are:
- a. Having all four school districts committed by August 10, 2011
- b. Enroll at least 175 youth
- c. Engage teachers and guidance counselors in the project
- d. Recruit business leaders to be presenters, speakers, and mentors
- e. Sign up more local businesses for internship/job shadowing
Our long term goals are:
- a. Schools will incorporate this program into their regular curriculum by 2016
- b. 60 percent of participants retain residency in Monroe County and employed in the career field chosen through our program
- c. Expand our program to area charter schools, parochial schools, and private institutions
Y.E.S. Staff: The agency has two staff members who develop and facilitate the project with the assistance of the many volunteers in the business community and educational institutions.
Peter Alasty (Executive Director) holds a BA in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and has 18 years experience in the fields of youth development and non-profit organizations. He also holds tremendous experience in the business community, and previously worked as the Vice President of Business Development of the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce.
Alexandra Jabara (Program Coordinator) is a graduate of Temple University with a BA in Communications and a minor in Theater. She has previously held employment with NBC 10 in Philadelphia, PA and with ycivics, a non-profit youth art and film program based in New York City.