Recruiting Specific Youth
  • Look at your Data: Data such as survey responses, test scores, grades, behavioral referrals, absentee rates can all help inform which students you want to specifically recruit for an activity.
  • Ask for referrals from other Staff: They may be aware of needs that you don’t know about. Also, youth are most likely engaged with adults they have a great relationship.
  • Target Specific populations: If you are in a school-based setting or another setting with designated populations, you can target specific populations. For example, if you have an activity geared towards English Learners you can look at which students are in that program during the school day. You may be able to come to school-day classes to promote the activity.
  • Offer incentives: Food, small giveaways or culminating parties and trips are great incentives to get youth in the door and to keep them coming back.
Get the Word Out!
  • Program Schedule: posted and distributed in multiple places
  • Flyers and Brochures
  • Get Youth to Recruit their Peers: If you can peek a student’s interest it can help give them the security they need to attend if they are allowed to bring a friend.
  • Go Directly to the Parents and Families: Students are very likely to attend if their parents want them in your program. Click here for more on parental engagement.
  • Keep non-program staff informed: teachers, administrators, counselors, non-profit and community center staff should be up-to-date on your program. They are working with the same population and can only refer youth. Reception staff are often the first line of communication to families and community.
Mix It Up
  • Programing is reflective the needs of your community.
  • Offer a good mix of academics, youth development, physical activities, arts, community service, leadership opportunities and  career and technical education.
  • Programing changes to offer new opportunities.
  • In alignment with the school day, but uniquely distinct from the school day.