My Idea Nationally-awarded Projects At A Glance


By the Numbers

  • 33 year-long projects completed.
  • Idea Leaders did not act alone. They reported a combined group of over 500 planners.  Planners spent on average 10 hours a week on their projects.
  • Projects reached participants in many ways. Participants may have attended events, been tutored or mentored, or received project-materials. Idea Leaders reported that their projects reached a combined 98,829 people.
  • Idea Leaders felt that their projects were very successful or somewhat successful (77, 23 percent respectively). Adult Supporters reported similarly (71, 29 percent).
  • The average age of the Idea Leaders at the time of project completion was 17 years old.
  • 88 percent of Idea Leaders were first time grant writers.
  • Idea Leaders reported that their knowledge in the following areas increased: Risk factors/reasons for dropping out, prevention techniques for dropout, national dropout rate, dropout rate at the high school in your community.
  • Idea Leaders reported that their experience in the following areas increased: Problem solving, leadership, project evaluation, project planning, and grant writing.
  • Projects will likely continue as 49 percent of Adult Supporters reported that some part of the project will continue without funding, 51 percent with additional funding.
  • Asked how the Adult Supporter’s involvement with youth has changed, 69 percent reported that they will work with youth significantly more. The rest will continue with the same amount of youth engagement.

Major Trends

Increasing Awareness through Creative Expression

“Why Graduate?” was a recurring phrase through many of the project reports. Many reports also listed local, state, and knowledge statistics. In addition to action, sustained awareness raising will always be important to engaging broader audiences in helping end the dropout crisis.  Idea Leaders went beyond reports and news articles to spread the facts including the creation of a play, a board game, an interactive presentation, a film, a hip-hop studio and a magazine. These outlets increased knowledge of the issue but also worked hard to get people to imagine the future.

Rallying Together for Change

Most community change happens when people come together.  Following in the footsteps of the successful America’s Promise Alliance Summits, youth planned forums, conferences, and graduation walks. Some events had a target audience while others were for all.  In addition several groups focused on more intensive workshops. Recruitment for these gatherings involved savvy marketing plans and pubic campaigns as well.

Positive Peer Pressure through Mentoring  

As seen in all of the projects, peer to peer interaction was paramount.  Being a role model, working in a team, and looking out for one another was present in almost all of the projects. Many projects centered around various forms of mentoring or tutoring programs. And almost all noted the benefits to the mentors in leadership and confidence as well as the mentees.

Engagement through Service

The fifth Promise of Helping Others rang true in the service of all the project leaders but several projects chose to use making a difference in the community as a way to engage students in planning for their futures.  Whether it’s teaching, fundraising, or environmental projects young people have the chance to feel good about making a difference and explore career interests and talents.

Promoting Healthy Behaviors

Eating right, reducing stress, staying healthy and avoiding risky behaviors ensure a brighter future for teens. By focusing on these positive lifestyle choices, project teams had a worked hard to influence on their peers and fellow community members.

Exploring Solutions Beyond the Community  

While many groups found the assets they needed in their own communities, others looked outside of them to fill the gaps they observed. Bringing ideas, experiences, and effective practices back to their communities after conferences and events demonstrated the positive effect of investing in upcoming young leaders.