“Become has given our youth a voice.” – Jocelyn Jones, Executive Director, The Ark of St. Sabina
Our work is based in Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE). This evaluation model is a social justice tool for evaluations committed to cultural integrity, community empowerment, and sociopolitical change. Our process includes collectively learning what happens in a program and the effects of the program, coming up with a plan to improve those effects (amplify the impact), and carry out that plan together. In this process, our goals are to:
One example of our approach to evaluation is our work with^( . We built an evaluation team of community members, organizational staff, parents, youth, and elders. This team identified the need to enhance youth programming to build leadership and advocacy skills. Through this work we met Tabatha (a pseudonym), 11, who stopped going outside and became reclusive and shy after witnessing a murder 2 years ago. As a result of the programs The Ark developed, she is now helping develop and implement violence-prevention projects, serving on our community evaluation team and dancing in front of hundreds of people at community events.
We’ve also done program evaluations recently for^( and the ^( 21st Century Learning Center program. For the latter, we conducted focus groups at 5 sites where youth informed program improvement efforts. They learned to look at the goals and objectives of the program as “little evaluators” whose insights will inform future program shifts.