In the summers of 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 a comprehensive evaluation of a summer youth employment program involving more than 30 community agencies and over 400 youth workers during each summer was conducted. The final reports included description of a multi-method program evaluation study of the Flint Summer Youth Initiative administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF).
Site visits to community-based organizations that received grants from the CFGF to run programs revealed that programs offered a variety of program activities and that most of the programs offered academic and/or recreational activities for youth. All funded programs were required to use daily sign-in forms for youth workers and/or program participants and to submit weekly attendance reports to the CFGF. These reports were used to account for participation in the Summer Youth Initiative for every week.
During of the summer of 2002, these procedures produced counts of 400 youth workers and 9,946 program participants. The youth workers reported decreases in exposure to violence, in substance use, and in sexual activity over the course of the summer. There was an increase in the number of workers who reported saving money in bank accounts and who reported they were saving for their education. The youth workers provided high ratings of their summer work experience. The program identified problem areas which are being addressed by the funder.