Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE)

An Effective Practice


Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE) is a violence-prevention program developed specifically for African-American adolescents. The program consists of three main components, namely a Rites of Passages (ROP) program, a summer jobs training and placement (JTP) program, and an entrepreneurial experience that uses the Junior Achievement (JA) model. The overall approach of SAGE is based on the theory that positive gains in personal and social responsibility, educational aspirations, and academic achievement in tandem with employment training and opportunities fostered by community mentors will make a positive impact on reducing violence among the participants.

Goal / Mission

The purpose of the first component, ROP, is to develop a strong sense of African-American cultural pride and ethnic identity in the participants and instill a sense of responsibility in their community, their peers, and themselves. The second component, the JTP experience, places youths in summer jobs at desirable work sites such as dentist offices, local museums, and recreational centers. The third component, JA, teaches how to develop and implement a small business.

Results / Accomplishments

SAGE was assessed using a longitudinal, randomized field trial in which program applicants were assigned to one of three programmatic conditions: 1) guidance plus employment (ROP, JTP, and JA), 2) employment only (JTP and JA), and 3) a comparison group eligible for delayed participation in JA only. At the 18-month follow-up, the mean number of problem behaviors reported by the employment-with-guidance group declined, in contrast to the slight increase of the comparison group and to no change in the employment-only group. Examining each behavioral outcome individually, differences in a positive direction for employment-with-guidance were observed for 8 of the 10 outcomes, relative to the control group. For the employment-only group, positive differences were observed for 7 of the 10 outcome measures. Of the 10 behavioral outcomes examined, the program seemed to have the greatest benefits for reducing reports for carrying a gun, selling illegal drugs, and injuring others with a weapon.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Arnold Dennis
Durham County Department of Social Services
P.O. Box 810
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 560-8086
Economy / Employment
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Durham County Department of Social Services
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
Geographic Type
Durham County, NC
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Racial/Ethnic Minorities

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