After School Resources

Project EAT believes in the importance of strong after school programs which helps foster critical thinking and leadership skills through youth empowerment.  Scroll through this page to find different examples on what Youth Empowerment looks like at Project EAT.  We provide detailed instructions on the steps involved to create these programs.  We use food as a tool to build life skills which empower youth to make healthy choices and gain leadership experience that will enable them to inspire and educate their peers and families to do the same.  Our youth empowerment programs are based in two different, but complementary theories—asset-building youth development theory and youth-led participatory action research (YPAR).   However you envision positive change for your community or school, we hope that you see after school youth empowerment programs as an essential element in creating a lasting impact. 


Background Info

Starting your own after school youth empowerment program

Asset-building youth development focuses on the strength and attributes of youth instead of focusing on their deficits or problems.  Our youth empowerment programs avoid language like “at-risk”, “delinquent”, or “low-income”, to label or target youth in our programs.  We reach out to students who might be facing obstacles in their home or academic life by offering them an opportunity to gain skills. 



Youth-led participatory action research is an inquiry process that includes critical thinking, service learning,and logical problem solving.  Youth leaders have been successful in showing community leaders, teachers, parents and policy makers that they should be a key part of the discussion on solving issues about health and wellness in their communities. This framework leads to authentic and meaningful partnerships between youth and the adults. 



Finding youth who are motivated and creative enough to make the project worthwhile can be challenging.  At Project EAT, we use two methods to recruit youth to our programs. We offer stipends, and alumni  outreach to other youth they feel might benefit from the program.  All youth must go through an application process, which includes a recommendation and an interview.  This helps insure prospective applicants are there to learn and educate others, not just to receive a stipend.


Evaluating Sub-type

After putting effort into creating an inclusive and motivated community, it is important to document if you accomplished what you set out to do.  It may also be necessary to demonstrate the positive impact your program has on youth to secure funding.  Youth empowerment programs need to prioritize youth input in this process.  Common methods used to gather and implement youth input are written surveys and group discussions.