Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection

At a Glance

National Office: 
1 Mustard Street
Rochester, NY 14609
Phone: 585-654-1600

Augustin Melendez
People Served: 
4,693
Year Founded: 
1987
Tax ID: 
16-1453581

Focus area(s):

Mentoring
Job/Career Development

Description

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) is a nationally-recognized youth development program that helps at-risk secondary school students stay in school and earn their high school diploma, while providing invaluable part-time work experience and job skills to help prepare them for life after graduation.  Full-time, professional Youth Advocates provide long-term mentoring and connect students to a 360-degree web of individualized support.  HW-SC empowers students with the skills and confidence they need to realize their dreams of success at school, at home, and on the job.

Impact and Outcomes

Improves high school graduation rates and employment rates for at-risk urban students.
In 2004 and 2007 the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) evaluated the program and found: 61% of students exposed to the program for at-least 7 months graduated versus only 31% of comparable urban students with 70% - 80% going onto post secondary education and 80% reporting being employed post-graduation.

Mission & Goals

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) helps at-risk secondary school students stay in school and earn their high school diploma, while providing invaluable part-time work experience and job skills to help prepare them for life after graduation.  Full-time, professional youth advocates provide long-term mentoring and connect students to a 360 degree web of individualized support.  HW-SC empowers students with the skills and confidence they need to realize their dreams of success at school, at home, and on the job.

HW-SC seeks not only to increase the high school graduation rate of its participants, but also to ensure that they leave high school with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue post-secondary education or employment opportunities upon graduation and to succeed in their post-high school undertakings.

Program

HW-SC's model incorporates long-term advocacy and individual counseling, academic support and enrichment, life-skills development, employment-readiness training, along with after school jobs with partner companies.  The majority of students are recruited to the program in 7th- 9th grades, resulting in an average length of stay of 4-6 years, not including the two years of post-high school follow up and support that HW-SC staff provides.  In addition, HW-SC develops partnerships with post-secondary institutions that provide scholarships and supported pathways into higher education for successful high school graduates; along with partnerships with area employers looking for assistance in the recruitment and retention of youth interested in pursuing career pathways in retail services, hospitality and tourism, health and science, and green jobs. 

Youth Advocates (or YAs) act as participating students’ personal mentors and advocates from the time they enter the program until two years after they graduate from high school.  Located directly in the school, YAs oversee caseloads of 30-33 at-risk students, and are a consistent, positive force in those students’ lives.  YAs schedule weekly 1-on-1 check-ins with all students on their caseload, and are responsible for monitoring, supporting, and advocating for youth both in and out of the school.  YAs act as intensive school-based mentors to students, tracking students’ attendance and course performance to make sure they are on target for grade promotion and, eventually, graduation.  In addition to the daily, in-school contact with students, YAs also act as the liaison between their students, teachers, school staff, and students’ parents.  Outside of the school day, YAs coordinate the following services:

  • Teen Outreach Program-- HW-SC students participate in the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), an evidence-based life skills curriculum proven to prevent teen pregnancy, help participants understand and evaluate future life options, and increase school success.  
  • Youth Employment Training AcademyYETA provides all employment-eligible youth with 25 hours (5 hours/week) of employment training and job readiness curriculum, to prepare youth for employment with one of HW-SC’s employer partners.
  • Academic Tutoring–both individual and group sessions are offered at least twice a week via intensive 2-hour sessions facilitated by YAs through a partnership with local college students. The focus is on core high school subjects such as Math, English, and Science,   Students are also referred to school-run tutoring resources when necessary.  
  • Academic Enrichment Programming—offered two days a week; will focus on academic enrichments facilitated by specialist providers (including recreation and fitness, student leadership, student journalism, and entrepreneurship skills offerings).
  • Post Secondary Planning and SupportYAs facilitate college exploration, preparation, and application for students throughout 11thand 12thgrades.  This includes arranging for college tours and college speakers, SATprep classes, and support throughout the college application process.
  • Summer Programming—HW-SC operates a summer school program for 5 weeks of the summer.  In addition to tracking students’ progress through summer school classes, YAs plan and orchestrate college trips, study sessions, enrichment sessions, and fun activities for the participating students.

Impact

The Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program has been recognized as one of the most effective and efficient youth development programs in the nation, and in 2009 was named one of the “23 programs that support youth on the path to college and beyond” by the American Youth Policy Forum.  In 2004 and 2007 the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) evaluated the program and found that 61% of students exposed to the program for at least 7 months graduated, in contrast with 31% of comparable urban students.  70% - 80% of HW-SC students went on to post-secondary education, and 80% reported being employed post-graduation. 

In addition, HW-SC remains committed to continuous evaluation and improvement of the program.  HW-SC  is building its capacity to provide  annual program results internally and will continue to engage  with outside evaluators and researchers to provide input to the program and expects additional results to be reported by the end of 2012.

For more detailed information, see Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection's Business Plan. 

Growth Plan

At the start of the 2011/12 school year Hillside Work Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) operated four program locations at very different points in their development, and there is interest expressed by other markets both in and out of state. Based on the experience in these markets, the program model is felt to be maturing and able to be replicated.

  • Theory of change elements being delivered in all locations
  • Strong advances in infrastructure support to program delivery
  • Work needed on consistent documentation of delivery

However the business model needs further development. Specifically:

  • Use of data, fidelity to data collection not well ingrained
  • Funding not yet sustainable
  • Evaluation and evidence not moved to next level although outcomes continue to be stron

As it looks to the future, HW-SC is dedicated to serving more students in need of assistance. The need is profound across the country. However, before pursuing growth to widespread scale, HW-SC will complete the validation phase of its long term plan.

  • The current economic situation increases the risks associated with significant growth
  • The business model’s sustainability needs validation
  • Long-term New York State sustainability requires a larger state wide footprint
  • Seed market sustainability needs validation
  • Program optimization work needs to be validated before investing in a randomized control design study essential to widespread scale dissemination
     

Key initiatives during validation phase:

Demonstrate sustainability of “service funding mosaic” for early, mid-stage and mature markets

“Service Funding Mosaic” – diverse set of public funding with local education funding as core and philanthropic funding as ancillary

  1. Achieve state-wide scale and enhance sustainability of New York program by becoming a state-wide service provider (growth from 3 to 5 districts)
  2. Prepare for expansion phase by successfully opening a locally-sustained out-of-state seed market
  3. Investigate viability of program outside of core urban setting
  4. Create and replicate employer value proposition through Jobs Institute
  5. Institutionalize key operational capabilities and optimize model
  6. Validate model effectiveness through continued research

Location of Sites

National Office: 
1 Mustard Street
Rochester, NY 14609
Phone: 585-654-1600
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$5,017,000
Government Funding: 
$6,738,060
Contributions from Individuals: 
$980,137
Special Events: 
$1,275,000
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$14,010,197

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$10,317,729
Occupancy: 
$906,883
Travel & Entertainment: 
$193,290
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$206,631
Telephone & Communications: 
$265,106
Payments to Affiliates: 
$57,644
Other Expenses: 
$2,062,914
Other Expenses (Description): 

Salaries & related professional fees include program services-- children and family services.  Other expenses include supporting services-- management and general services.

Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$14,010,197

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$0

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$320,000
Foundation Grants: 
$4,712,164
Government Funding: 
$7,120,216
Contributions from Individuals: 
$67,754
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$5,081,409
Special Events: 
$454,457
Total Revenue: 
$17,756,000

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$8,824,679
Occupancy: 
$894,564
Travel & Entertainment: 
$134,220
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$198,949
Telephone & Communication: 
$218,907
Payments to Affiliates: 
$63,842
Other Expenses: 
$2,339,430
Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$12,674,591

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$5,081,409

Major Funders

Wegmans Family Charitable Foundation

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

New York State Department of Education

Rochester City School District

Syracuse City School District

Prince George’s County School District

Buffalo City School District

New York State Department of Children and Families

City of Rochester