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Reconnecting Youth

PO Box 20343
Seattle, WA 98102
Contact Information
Merridy Ruggiero
Information Coordinator

Program Specifications


Prevention, Intervention, Recovery/Reentry

Age/Grade Level:

High School





Target Settings:

Rural, Urban, Suburban, Inner City, Tribal

Target Groups:

School Wide

Other Participation Criteria:

School Dropout Potential (re: school records & referral)


Reconnecting Youth (RY) is a proven, award-winning program that helps high-risk youth achieve in school and decrease drug use, anger, depression, and suicidal behavior. Designed for students aged 14-18, RY is a high school-based curriculum that uses small group skills training to enhance personal competencies and social support resources. The RY program goals are: 1. Increase school performance. 2. Decrease drug involvement. 3. Decrease suicide-risk behaviors. This "indicated" prevention program meets the needs of high-risk individuals by helping students develop skills and strategies for dealing with risk factors in four critical areas: Self-Esteem Enhancement, Decision Making, Personal Control, and Interpersonal Communication. The RY program has been recognized by numerous governmental agencies as an effective, model program for reducing school dropout, suicide risk behaviors, substance abuse and similar at-risk behaviors in youth.

Program Descriptors Include:

Academic Improvement, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Bullying/Violence, Community Collaboration, Extended-School/Summer Program, Extra Curricular, Family/Parental Involvement, Homeless, Mentoring/Tutoring, Service Learning, Study Skills, Substance Abuse, Alternative Education, Life Skills Training

Program Rating:

Strong Evidence

Starting Year:


Students Served Per Year:


Last Verified:

March 19th, 2009

Strategies for Locating Students:


Reenrolled Students with Disabilities:


Risk Factors

Program addresses the following:

Individual Factors

  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family Factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School Factors

  • Limited resources: expenditures per student/ teacher salaries/ student-teacher ratios
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community Factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Youth social attitudes

Protective Factors

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic

Program Resources

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is less than $25,000 or less than $500 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Federal, State, Local/City/County, District, Faith Based, Organizations/Agencies

Program Staff Includes:

Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, SROs
Adults with ability and interest in working with students at risk of Dropout

Materials Used:

Instructional Texts/Manuals

Supporting/Partner Organizations:

Evaluation Information

Description of Program Impact:

How Evaluation Data Was Collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level
Outside experimental studies

Additional Evaluation Information:
Relevant URL: