In 2010/11 Oakland Unified School District recommended district-wide expansion of Oakland Kids First’s student-initiated PASS-2 academic peer counseling program to engage hundreds of youth leaders in providing academic information, support and motivation to 3,000 freshmen annually and increase the graduation and college eligibility rates of underrepresented students of color.
The PASS-2 program is a unique solution initated in 2004 by Oakland Kids First youth program participants who brought a distinct perspective to the issue - they were able to speak as experts on the problem of low graduation and college attendance rates with insights gained through first-hand experience, and they wisely identified themselves and their leadership as a critical part of the solution. After a successful youth-led campaign to realize their vision, PASS-2 has now become a peer education and mentoriing program that trains student leaders at five high schools (Oakland Technical, Oakland High, McClymonds, Street Academy and Skyline high schools).
Ways to Get Involved with PASS-2
• Mentor Workshops where upperclass members participate in a PASS-2 class two days per week during school in a pre-selected classroom.
• Lunchtime Mentoring sessions where PASS-2 mentors support their 9th grade mentees twice each month.
• Membership Activities are relevant to youth culture and interests and provide a point of entry to engage new members. These include field trips, movie nights, a zine, CD project, and special events.
Ways to Take on More Leadership within PASS-2
• Alumni Mentoring offers opportunities after graduation for PASS-2 alumni to run workshops for freshman at high schools not currently receiving PASS-2 curriculum.
• Job Board postings are 2-4 week stipended positions for PASS-2 Alumni. Projects include conducting a school-wide survey, facilitating parts of the training series, planning an event, or doing youth advocacy.
• Retreats allow members a chance to work on program design and planning for the upcoming year.