Examining the impact of the youth empowerment program on at-risk adolescents' academic achievement and resiliency

Michelle Ocen, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), a community-based initiative designed to facilitate at-risk youth's successful completion of high school, in improving involved youths' academic achievement and resiliency following one-year involvement in the program. Participants included a total of 31 10th grade students at Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School who were involved in the YEP as mentees. Several indicators were used including the Resilience Scale, a health knowledge questionnaire, youths' academic records, and YEP attendance records. Data analyses included paired samples t-tests, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and Pearson's correlations. Results of the present study indicate that mentees involved in the YEP showed significant increases in their level of resilience from pre to post assessment and showed significant gains in their knowledge of health-related concepts. No significant differences were observed for mentees cumulative GPA's for the year following their involvement in the YEP. Additionally, several significant relations among dependent variables were found. These findings provide preliminary evidence that the YEP may have a positive impact on youth who are consistently involved in its programs and activities. The author provides some recommendations for program improvement and directions for future research.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Michelle Ocen, "Examining the impact of the youth empowerment program on at-risk adolescents' academic achievement and resiliency" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3599437.