Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)™

Program/Intervention: 
Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)™
Implementing Organization: 
The Door; Coalition for Responsible Comm Development; Covenant House AK; Jobs for AZ Grads; Jobs for MI Grads; NE Chldrn and Families Fdn; Proj for Pride in Living; Univ of ME - Muskie School; South Bay Comm Svs; Ctr for Alt Sentencing and Employment Svs
Intermediary(s): 
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Summary: 
Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) works to reduce the inequalities in life opportunities and outcomes that affect young people who are systems-involved or experiencing homelessness through the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and JFF’s Back on Track programs.
 
The JAG program aims to help young people obtain their secondary degree and equip them with work and life skills to transition into quality jobs. Back on Track aims to help young adults’ transition to postsecondary education and put them on a path toward earning a postsecondary credential.
 
Study Goals:
The LEAP evaluation is primarily an implementation study, seeking to understand how the 10 LEAP grantees launched their programs within local collaboratives and adapted the two program models to advance opportunity for those who enrolled. To answer these questions, the implementation study used site visits, in-person interviews, phone interviews, and descriptive analyses of program data.
 
The evaluation also included an outcomes and cost study. The outcomes study explored participant engagement and outcomes using program participant data. The cost study’s objective was to understand the resources needed to replicate the LEAP programs. The cost study analyzed program financial data.
 
Results:
Key findings from the study include:
  • LEAP grantees adapted JAG and Back on Track services to focus on addressing the circumstances in the young people’s lives that constrained their potential. This included adapting how they planned to deliver core model activities to promote engagement.
  • Back on Track participants, most of which had a high school diploma and previous work experience, had high engagement in services and high levels of enrollment into postsecondary education.
  • Most JAG participants who enrolled received the program’s key services (mostly youth that did not have a high school diploma or previous work experience), but more than half did not fully complete the program. Among those who completed the program’s core services phase, most were employed or in school at one point during the first six months of the follow-up period.
  • Per participant costs, including outreach and follow up, ranged from $5,300 to $7,300.

For more information, download the final report and report brief.

CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Youth Development (SIF)
Age(s) Studied: 
18-25 (Young adult)
Study Type(s): 
Cost-Benefit or Cost Effectiveness Study
Implementation
Outcomes
Study Design(s): 
Quasi-Experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence: 
Preliminary
Evaluator: 
MDRC
Year Published: 
2019
Date Posted Online: 
September 9, 2019
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