More Than a Village
Perspectives on Re-engagement in Tucson
More Than a Village: Perspectives on Re-engagement in Tucson is the second part of a two-part research series focused on high school re-engagement in Tucson, Arizona. The first piece in this series, I’m Going Back: The Re-engagement Experiences of Tucson Youth, presents young people’s perspectives about the barriers and supports to re-engaging with their high school experience. In More Than a Village, the Center for Promise shares insights from the perspective of adults working in Tucson’s re-engagement efforts.
The Center for Promise conducted interviews with a total of 14 adults including key staff members from the Tucson Unified School District dropout prevention team and staff at the Youth on the Rise, United Way Cradle-to-Career initiative. Through these interviews, the Center for Promise sought to develop a deeper understanding of the re-engagement landscape in Tucson and how adults working in this system describe their efforts to help support young people’s diverse needs while enhancing collaboration.
Across job titles and organizations, the adults working in re-engagement shared common insights, including:
Relationships come first. Building relationships with young people comes first to establish trust and a better understanding of young people’s needs.
“It takes more than a village.” Working to address young people’s complex needs on a daily basis often requires connecting young people to additional supports in the community or showing them how to access these supports for themselves and their families.
Enhanced collaboration accelerates positive policy change. By working together—and consulting with youth themselves—youth-serving entities have been able to address youth needs on a citywide basis (eg: obtaining a grant to enable the schools to offer nightly dinners for youth) or change policies (eg: School Justice Partnership Project).
More Than a Village: Perspectives on Re-engagement in Tucson was authored by Shannon Varga, Max Margolius, Catalina Tang Yan, Anna Skubel, Marissa L. Cole, and Jonathan F. Zaff at the Center for Promise. This research is part of GradNation State Activation, an initiative of the GradNation campaign to raise high school graduation rates to 90 percent. WestEd is one of three grant recipients for this national effort. Pearson is the sole sponsor of this study and its dissemination.
The 5 Promises
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below: