National Institute of Justice National Institute of Justice. Research. Development. Evaluation. Office of Justice Programs
Crime Solutions.gov
skip navigationHome  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map   |  Glossary
Reliable Research. Real Results. skip navigation
skip navigation Additional Resources:

skip navigation

Program Profile: Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE)

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on November 19, 2013

Program Summary

A violence prevention program targeted at African American male adolescents living in Durham, N.C. which sought to reduce the disproportionate rate of violence among this population through a multifaceted community-based approach, including an Afrocentric guidance and instructional approach with a mentoring aspect. This program is rated No Effects. The program did not have a significant impact on participating youths’ problem, violent, or other-risky behaviors.

Program Description

Program Goals
Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE) is a violence prevention program for African American male adolescents. Created as a response to the growing, disproportionate rate of violence among African American male adolescents, SAGE seeks to decrease violence among this at-risk population through a multifaceted community-based approach.

SAGE, which was developed and implemented in Durham, N.C., by three Durham-based organizations, is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Program Components
In an effort to combat the disproportionate rates of African American male adolescent involvement in violence, the SAGE program combined three approaches to violence prevention: (1) an Afrocentric guidance and instructional approach, which also included a mentoring aspect; (2) a job training and placement approach, which took place during the summer months; and (3) an after-school entrepreneurial training approach. SAGE was the first program of its kind to combine these three different approaches in a single program. In combining these three approaches, the SAGE program consisted of three programmatic components, each occurring in respective succession: the Rites of Passages (ROP) program, the summer jobs training and placement (JTP) program, and an entrepreneurial experience program, based upon the Junior Achievement (JA) model.

The ROP program component was based on the ROP Curriculum created by the Durham Business and Professional Chain in 1993. The overarching goal of this program component was to instill a strong sense of African American cultural pride, ethnic identity, and responsibility to family, peers, and community. Through biweekly seminars over an 8-month period, the ROP sought to encourage positive attitudes, self-esteem, and eliminate participants’ involvement in risky behaviors. Each seminar included both didactic and interactional methods, focusing on conflict resolution, African American history, male sexuality, and manhood training. Participants also met with a mentor throughout the program. The program concluded with an overnight camping trip attended by both participants and mentors. The camping trip included a private right of initiation into manhood and a graduation ceremony where the youths’ family and the larger community attended.

The summer JTP program began with a brief initiation for youth participants and individuals from the organizations where the youth would be placed for the summer. The initiation stressed the importance of appropriate behavior and punctuality. Individuals from the various placement organizations were trained on the importance of providing a structured and supervised environment for the youth, and were provided with overall suitable expectations that they should have for the youth. Youth were matched with organizations based on specified interests, and worked at their respective jobsites for 6-weeks, receiving minimum wage. The JTP program included job counselors who checked in with the jobsite on a weekly basis and, if needed, provided youth with transportation to their summer placement.

The entrepreneurial experience program, based upon the JA model, took place over a 3-month period. During this time, youth met in small groups with volunteer advisors to experience the development and implementation of a small business. Youth formed a legal corporation, developed a business plan, elected officers, sold stock, and marketed and sold a product. At the end of the 3-month period, the company was dissolved and all investors were reimbursed and received a share of the company’s profit.

Evaluation Outcomes

top border
Study 1
Flewelling and colleagues (1999) compared juveniles who received the Rights of Passages (ROP) program, the summer jobs training and placement (JTP) program, and the entrepreneurial experience program (ROP/JTP/Junior Achievement [JA]) to juveniles who received the JA-only program. They also compared juveniles who received the JTP program and the entrepreneurial experience program (JTP/JA) to juveniles who received the JA-only program.

Problem Behaviors
No significant differences were found between participants in the ROP/JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program. Likewise, no significant differences were found between participants in the JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program.

Violent Behaviors
No significant differences were found between participants in the ROP/JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program. Similarly, no significant differences were found between participants in the JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program.

Other Risky Behaviors
No significant differences were found between participants in the ROP/JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program. Likewise, no significant differences were found between participants in the JTP/JA program and participants in the JA-only program.
bottom border

Evaluation Methodology

top border
Study 1
To assess the effectiveness of the Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE) program in reducing violence among African American male adolescents, Flewelling and colleagues (1999) conducted a randomized field trial. Participants were assigned to one of the following three conditions: participation in the Rites of Passages (ROP) program, the summer jobs training and placement (JTP) program, and the Junior Achievement (JA) program; participation in JTP and JA only; and a comparison group eligible for delayed participation in JA only. African American males between the ages of 12–16 living in Durham, N.C., in 1993–1994 were eligible for enrollment into the SAGE program. Analysis occurred over 2 successive years, with the first cohort beginning in January 1994 and the second cohort in January 1995. Cohort 1 included 127 participants and cohort 2 included 128 participants; however, data from both cohorts were analyzed together, with a total of 86 youths assigned to the ROP, JTP, and JA condition; 84 to the JTP and JA condition; and 85 to the comparison (delayed JA only) condition.

For both cohorts, outcome measures were based on self-report and archival data, collected at baseline, 18 months, and annually thereafter. The survey questions were prerecorded on audiocassette tapes. Each participant was given a personal tape player, headphones, and provided with clear instructions on how to use the tape player and record their responses on their respective answer sheets. Answer sheets did not include any personal information that could be used to identify the respondent; instead, the answer sheets were coded with each participant’s identification number. The survey included questions regarding youth’s recent involvement in risky behaviors such as physical fighting, carrying a weapon, using a weapon, receiving treatment for an injury that resulted from a physical altercation, alcohol and drug use, selling of illegal drugs, intentionally damaging or vandalizing property, or engaging in sexual intercourse. Potential responses included “within the past month,” “between 1 and 6 months ago,” “between 6 months and 1 year ago,” “over 1 year ago,” and “never.” In addition to these self-report surveys, school suspension records, hospital records, and court records were also used in the analysis. Using both sources of data, the following outcomes were evaluated at the 30-month follow-up period: problem behaviors, violent behavior, and other risky behaviors.
bottom border

Cost

top border
There is no cost information available for this program.
bottom border

Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

top border
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Flewelling, Robert, M.J. Paschall, Karen Lissy, Barri Burrus, Chris Ringwalt, Phillip Graham, Verna Lamar, May Kuo, Dorothy Browne. 1999. A Process and Outcome Evaluation of “Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE)”: A Community-Based Violence Prevention Program for African American Male Adolescents. Research Triangle Park, N.C.: Research Triangle Institute.
http://www.rti.org/pubs/sage_evaluation_report.pdf
bottom border


Program Snapshot

Age: 12 - 16

Gender: Male

Race/Ethnicity: Black

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): Workplace, Other Community Setting

Program Type: Academic Skills Enhancement, Classroom Curricula, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Leadership and Youth Development, Mentoring, Vocational/Job Training, Community Crime Prevention , Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide