What is Youth on the Move?

Youth on the Move (YOM) is a comprehensive program that provides youth ages 12–21 with the academic support, leadership training, career and life planning and cultural development opportunities to prepare them for success as adults. The program seeks to support youth in advancing to the next grade level, graduating from high school and creating a post-secondary plan that leads to financial self-sufficiency by age 21. All students enrolled in school are encouraged to participate. In 2002, YOM arose from a growing concern for the successful development of young people in our community. The pilot program started in 2003 in Peoplestown, an Atlanta community that had a 25 percent unemployment rate. Likewise, the graduation rate for youth in Peoplestown was 28.7 percent, and only 57 percent of eighthgrade students passed the state math test. Since the program's inception, YOM has served an average of 21 students a year. To date, there has been an 85 percent retention rate from year to year.

How does YOM work?

YOM program offerings begin in the sixth grade and continue through high school. YOM is executed in four stages. Stage One grades 6-8 focuses on building skills necessary to excel in school while introducing youth to college and developing social, cultural, community service, health, fitness and leadership skills. The program links students to mentors, exposes them to diverse career choices and encourages them to explore the state and other locales. Stage Two grades 9-10 extends to include internships, leadership development, conflict resolution and financial literacy education. Stage Three, “School to College” stage, provides high school juniors and seniors with college-focused mentoring through campus tours, assistance with post-secondary applications, SAT preparation, Youth Individual Development Accounts and financial aid research. Stage Four, the “Opportunities for Youth” stage, provides year-round support to youth who enter post-secondary institutions and employment training programs.

Results of YOM

  • 70% report liking school more since they attended YOM
  • 89% of students have maintained or improved grades
  • On average, participants in YOM missed three or fewer days of school
  • 100% of students in the program have graduated to the next grade level
  • 100% of the seniors have been promoted and gone on to either post-secondary education or a formal training course