Amplifying youth voices: A qualitative investigation of Raising the Grade

Raising the Grade is an innovative after-school program launched last year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) in 35 clubs across Canada. Through the use of online learning tools, mentorship, and the early promise of a scholarship, the program hopes to engage youth at risk of dropping out of high school and help them graduate from high school and enrol in post-secondary education. The proposed internship is part of a long-term developmental, formative evaluation of Raising the Grade currently conducted by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC). Renewal of the present internship will enhance the evaluation in a number of meaningful ways. Firstly, it will utilize an innovative, multimedia data collection platform to capture youths’ perspectives and amplify youth voices through online focus groups and discussion forums. The methods used here align well with Raising the Grade’s focus on digital literacy and participatory action research, and will provide valuable, much needed information from the youth participants. It will also enable youth to provide rapid, detailed, and nuanced information about their experiences in the program, supporting the participatory approach used for the program and its evaluation. The internship will inform SRDC and BGCC on how to engage youth in the evaluation, as well as ways in which the program can be improved and scaled up in the future.

Faculty Supervisor:

Drs. Stephanie Austin & Tim Aubry


Alyssa Louw


Social Research and Demonstration Corporation





University of Ottawa



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