This report will examine the internal environment of Access Youth, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to at-risk high school youth in Washington, DC. This document will define the companies core competencies, strengths, weaknesses and resources.
Access Youth (AY) vision remains to stop the school to prison course through several resources such as early intervention that focuses on three pivotal elements (Access Youth, 2013). The three critical features to combat are truancy, school behavior and students who have had their first experience with being arrested. Their vision to support adolescents by changing their lives with positive adult interaction propells AY to remain front runners in Washington, DC. Study show in 2016 District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the District of Columbia Charter Schools (DCCS) truancy rate skyrocketed (McGee, 2017), making the need for in-school support more prevalent.
Access Youth (2013) stipulates “Access Youth is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide at-risk youth with access to the skills, resources and support they need to stay in school and out of the criminal justice systems (para. 2). Their mission aligns with their vision as an intricate part of stability for youth in Washington DC high schools.
The following objectives are key elements to the success of Access Youth. Each year the organization revisits the objectives to refine components according to the needs of the youth they serve:
• Provide intervention services early for students who display need for support
• Involve students through program mediation with peers, faculty and family members
• Administer life coaching for students both individually and group
• Arrange life skills support throughout the school day as well as non-traditional hours
• Create opportunity for yout to advocate for themselves, identify realistic goals and plan academic achievement plans
• Maintain at least one nurturing adult to guide scholors with critical thinking skills to make better choices
To better understand the organizations goals, one should explore the continuous success of AY three core competencies: innovation, staff development and transparency. Each fundamental affords the organization the opportunity to exemplify excellenct services to not only the students, but to stakeholders who support AY financially. Using innovative ideas has mobilized AY to maintain a competitive edge over their opponents; their ability to produce services that are individualized to the needs of each client allows AY to holistically assist each family academically, socially and emotionally. Study show if a scholar has at least one adult to assist with providing a clear developmental plan, students will have an enhanced understanding of critical thinking skills and achieve more goals in life (Schwarts, 2015). AY is currently the only nonprofit organization that uses the holistic model to engage students during and after school, adding additional support to the overall scholar not just academically.
The second key component to examine is staff development. AY imparts a significant amount of mandatory and optional training provided for external and internal knowledge. Mandatory in-house training consist of mediation certification, social services training, AY databank for information and research and understanding families living in poverty. Upon completion of in-house training, AY then sends their program managers to the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) or District of Columbia Charter School (DCCS) staff development trainings, webinars, mandatory truama training and much more. The trainings allow the organization to cultivate its employees to understand the population they serve. It also gives them a competitive edge over their opponents in Washington, DC because they are well versed in the language used in the school system. This core competency allows AY the components to empower at-risk youth advocate for themselves, engaging with others positively. This key factor positions AY to provide an opportunity to influence their own outcomes in life (Schwartz, 2015).
Lastly, examining transparency will allow one to comprehend the necesity of transparency. AY utilizes transparency as a tool to keep the team abreast of all changes both internally and externally. It is a strategic model used to provide updated information in real time for all staff. The company also explores techniques to include their staff members in the changes, providing them with the opportunity to give suggestions and innovative strategies. This foundation maintains an easy segway to continue to teach best practices to their employees while engaging them with the changes needed by stakeholders.
Appraising the top three core competencies, one understands all three competencies are rated moderate to high levels in cost. To remain ahead of their challengers AY allocates a budget to provide the company with the means to create innovative ideas, staff development and continuous transparancy through change. Innovation of AY is extremely rare in DCPS and DCCS and is not easily immitated; AY is currently the only organization that provides services to high school students during school time (Access Youth, 2015). Many truancy and behavior programs are after school programs for high school students.
The focus of all core competencies align with the execusion of the Vision, Mission and Objectives (VMO) of the association. The competencies furnish a foundation to serve at-risk students thoroughly. The steps taken in each section provides staff with the necesary resources to coordinate with the VMO because it gives them the tools to execute a successful relationship with their young client. Though the core competencies are not easily immitated, one must point out that it is not rare for a company to provide staff development for their employees; however, what propells AY in this area is the amount of extensive training program managers must complete before working with children. Lastly transparency of AY can not be easily iminated because companies cannot access their work model through any particular shared avenue. The quick thinking of the administration highlights the highs as well as the lows of AY and continue to seek methods that will assists their students academic success.
• Students voluntarily engage in mediation, life skill courses and other resources (can leave program at any time, but opt to stay in through the school year)
• Families referred to AY by schools
• Fanancial backing of state and federal agencies
• Partnerships with DCPS and DCCS
• Resources obtained each year per child not one lump some to split
• Extensive training provided
• Specific calendar according to the school districts schedule for professional development and group outings with students
• Involvement in schools are during school hours and non-traditional hours i.e. after school, weekend events and community service
• Established an organizatinal structure that includes stakeholders and all contacts for each school
• Intake form needs to be streamlined for all three programs so program manager will not have to fill out various intake forms for the same child
• Students are not allowed to join the group with out a referral from administrators first, even if they need the help
• Difficult intake process for students who have severe trauma issues
• Limited time available for weekly one-on-one check in for students
• Caseload of 75-100 students per program manager per school year
• Only 9th and 10th grades are targeted for truancy prevention program, all other programs target 9th – 12th grade
AY strengths coordinate with the VMO tremendously. The highlighted strengths aim to combat the negative introduction of the criminal justice system in a juvenile’s life. The stableness produces a testiment of what AY furnishes on a daily basis. It is the core of the company and allows students to succeed in any setting. Each element prepares an opportunity for AY to engage students, families school administrators and stakeholders a snapshot of what and how AY assist students to remain successful daily. This embodies the both the vision and objectives of the organization.
Though the strengths are a great feat to discuss AY also has some weaknesses that need attention immediately. Their weaknesses can hinder their growth as a company. For example over working the program managers with 75-100 students per year will become taxing for individuals, as time carries on; this means there will be a potential high risk of turnover in the future if a program manager’s caseload continuously increases rapidly. Another misfortunate situation in AY that need to change immediately is the lack of resources for truant students in 11th and 12th grade. This weakness is due to AY policy to obtain students when they are just starting high school. This can become a contradiction to AY mission to provide all students with resources. The last weaknesses target is the difficult process it takes to complete intake on a student who had documented trauma experiences and waiting for students to be referred by administrators before entering the program. e students in each program is time-sensitive and should be done within the very beginning of the documented negative behavior,however AY does not have a policy that will allow families to enroll in the program on their own. These weaknesses do not align with the objective to provide families with efficient support and should be addressed accordingly.
A resource-based view is a design to guage resources defined to distinguish organizations performance (Jerevicious, 2013). Below the table will explain the assets AY have maintained to superseed their competetors:
• Expanding officies in two locations and obtaining office space provided by partnered schools in each district (public and charter)
• Grants to pay staff and provide additional resources outside of academic support to students and families provided by government agencies
• Technology resources, i.e. laptop for program managers, ipads for students to use to sign in and give detail of progress of goals, life skills and projects completed by students(while in the care of program managers) Intangible Assets
• Access Youth organizational branding continues to enhance
• Service contracts with schools are added each year
• Positive branding equity
Utilizing the VRIO framework to examine the assets of the company will aid in analyzing the corporations resouces and capabilities (Jurevicius, 2013). Each item listed above explain the resources used to accomplish the annual goal of AY. All tangible resources are compiled to aid students in maintaining a positive relationship with a nurturing, knowledgable adult. The organization is noted for providing highly individuals to complete mediation and life skill group sessions (Guidestar, 2018); this is just one example of how AY exceeds their competition. Utilizing the office spaces in the schools as well as off campus gives the program managers flexibility to create group meetings and individual times (if the schedule permits); this mode aids the program managers in assisting the scholors in positive life choices.
The intangible assets provide AY with leverage to continue a clear plan of obtaining the necesarry tools to become partners with various organizations. One of the most important intangible assets would be positive brand equity. A position that allows the organization a supportive partnership with a client who voluntarily pay more for a product or service because of the brand (Murphy, 2018). This is a currently the situation AY found themselves in this year; Office of Victim Services Justice Grants (OVSJG) tripled their financial backing to Access Youth this year after receiving an increase in money for high school truancy and restorative justice programs. Combining all assets increases AY’s chances of creating yet another avenue to reach students in need.
The value chain analysis of a program explores the process of both primary and secondary activities. The value chain aids value to the final result (Jurevicius, 2013). Below examines the activities AY conducts to produce organizational resouces to succeed.
• Students referred to the program through school administrators
• Operates an intake process that includes DCPS and DCCS database
• Delivers weekly reports of achievements/declines in student progress
• Markets success at monthly truancy task force meetings
• Resource provided to families Secondary Activities
• Infrastructure of organization configured to maintain advantages to provide service to families and school districts
• Technology evolving to maintain information in schools for AY to capture student progress
Through the activities recorded it is clear that AY has provided an immense amount of services to adolescents; they have served over 2000 scholars within the Washington, DC community to speak their truth (Access Youth, 2018). This feat is a rare resource for students, as many organizations in DCPS and DCCS are not empowering student with negative behavior to do so.
Access Youth has shown their rarity of resources through being the only organization to provide services in Washington, DC high schools that will hinder their negative interaction with the criminal justice system. Their resources have allowed them to remain in the school system during school hours as well as non traditional hours. Revisiting the VMO, AY has strived to empower students to know their worth through mediations, life skills and projects. Their strengths exhibit they are a company that embodies the capabilities to provide profound services to not only the youth, but their families as well. They continue to utilize their technology resources and financial resources to aid their clients in a better way of life. Though the cost may be slightly high to maintain the professional development of staff, student academic resources and transparency, AY continues to position themselves as the front runners for truancy prevention, suspension prevention and arrest prevention in urban settings. There strategy to establish positive relationships through the holistic approach will keep Access Youth as a valued asset to DCPS and DCCS community.
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