In-School Youth Models

Youth Enrolled in High School

This pathway is designed to offer a multi-year progressively deepening engagement with high school youth enrolled in 11th or 12th grades and are at risk of dropping out and those in need of additional support transitioning to and persisting in post-secondary education or sustainable employment. Upon program completion, successful participants will graduate high school, connect with an appropriate post-secondary option and complete one year of college coursework or retain and advance to employment. Key to the pathway’s success is the integration of career-connected learning and experiences with school-day curriculum and activities.

Out-of-School Youth Models

Opportunity Youth Without a Secondary Credential

This pathway is designed to reengage high school dropouts in education to obtain a GED and continue to build their competencies and skills beyond the secondary level. Because the employment opportunities of GED recipients are not much improved over the prospects of high school dropouts, it is imperative that GED attainment be the first step on a path to accessing and persisting in post-secondary education. Key to the pathway’s success is barrier removal, curriculum tied to college-readiness standards and the GED, and a continuum of services moving participants through college exploration, exposure and preparation to access and persist in post-secondary education.

Opportunity Youth With a Secondary Credential

This pathway will target opportunity youth who have obtained a secondary credential, but who are disconnected from both school and work. Programs will offer industry-recognized credentials that prepare participants for positions in industries with high-growth potential in Philadelphia. Key to this pathway’s success is the development of relationships with youth-serving organizations, employers and advanced training institutions to recruit eligible participants interested in the identified industry, and to account for participants’ interests in creating a pipeline of varying options for additional training or education and employment opportunities within the identified industry.

E3 Power Centers

The E3 Power Center model is a neighborhood-based pivotal access point for re-engagement services. These services provide critical academic skills and employment readiness services with wraparound supports to young people using positive youth development as a cornerstone along three interrelated pathways: Education, Employment, and Empowerment, the three E's.

The educational pathway provides a broad array of educational services that support youth at varying academic levels, including: low-literacy supports; GED-prep classes; and post-secondary access and planning.

The employment pathway provides intensive work-readiness programming that prepares participants for unsubsidized employment. Preparatory services include job-readiness training, subsidized internships, community-service and service-learning opportunities, as well as job search assistance.

Empowerment services support the development of life skills that help youth promote and sustain productive and healthy choices. Life skills are developed by defining young people’s vision, focusing on their goals, and measuring progress.

Successful E3 members accomplish the following outcomes:
  • Increased literacy and numeracy skills
  • 21st century and work-readiness skills development
  • Attainment of a GED or High School Diploma
  • Post-secondary placement

Youth Eligibility
  • Ages 16 to 21
  • Have dropped out of school, and/or returning from juvenile placement (referred through the Reintegration Initiative)

Summer WorkReady Models

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Summer WorkReady models offer educationally-enriched work opportunities to in-and out-of-school young people ages 12-21. Participants complete a six-week (120 hour), paid work experience that fosters the acquisition of the 21st Century skills through work-based learning. Each program is designed to challenge youth to understand the correlations between work experience, skill attainment and high school completion and how those variables impact their potential for college and career success. Additionally, they offer participants a pathway for credit attainment within the School District of Philadelphia. Opportunities are offered through one of four program models: career exposure, service-learning, work experience, and internships.

Youth Eligibility
  • Ages 12 - 21 (internships are generally 16-21)
  • Philadelphia resident
  • Has not enrolled in post-secondary education

Career Exposure

Career Exposure programs provide opportunities for middle school students (ages 12-15) to develop the beginnings of a strong vocational identity, understand what careers are available in local, high-priority growth industries, and what skills and experience those careers require. Specifically, Career Exposure programs engage youth in completion of an interest inventory, in-depth research into career clusters (e.g., research projects, guest speakers, job shadowing, work site and/or college visits), and completion of an individualized career plan.

Service Learning

Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy in which youth address real-world issues that are relevant to their community. This model allows youth to explore these issues through research, reflection, and action. Summer Service Learning programs organize young people into teams that address complex, community problems in a holistic way; while also offering young people the opportunity to simultaneously serve and learn. As part of their service-learning experience, all participants complete a project connected to the communal activity that enables them to hone both their work-readiness and their academic skills.

Work Experience

Work Experience programs are intended for youth with limited or no work experience. Activities blend work experience with work-readiness training in ways that expand participants’ knowledge of workplace competencies and careers while also underscoring the importance of academic achievement and its link to career advancement. Youth participants develop work-based learning projects that demonstrate the knowledge they have gained and provide opportunities to build academic skills, enhance their work readiness and expand their awareness of career options.


Internships offer summer work experience and career-exposure opportunities for youth with prior work experience and a basic understanding of workplace competencies. Interns work independently rather than in groups and participate in a series of professional development workshops which focus on career exploration and aptitude assessment as well as work-readiness. Participants have the choice of completing a work-based learning project or a portfolio.

PYN, Inc.  
400 Market St.
Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19106