We farm to grow leaders. The core of this youth development work is what we call the Youth Farm Way, in other words our program model and strategies that are built to deliver high quality programming and meaningful outcomes. Taking our mission seriously means engaging in a constant process of improvement, recognizing challenges and developing new methods to ensure we are providing the best programs for young people that we can.
This year we’ve embraced this challenge in partnership with our Project LEAD and Farm Stewards and have begun a series of youth program quality assessments. These assessments are observations build around 60 quality indicators that are nationally recognized. They help us understand the strengths of our program and what staff can do to make our participants’ experiences more meaningful. Our assessment team is built from across our five neighborhoods and have already observed programs in each hood. Once our YPQA data has been compiled, the team will create an improvement plan to share and implement with our 50 youth and adult staff.
Its been incredibly exciting to visit each others programs and see all the different ways Youth Farm looks. We’ve already learned so much from each other, from seeing different youth work styles and from developing relationships across neighborhoods. Thanks to the whole evaluation team for putting in so many hours to make our programs even better!