Teens in the Somali Diaspora: An Evaluative Program Study

Jennifer A. Skuza


Program evaluation is a critical part of program sustainability because evaluation can inform improvements and document impact. Here, 2 Minnesota organizations came together in partnership with the Somali American community to work toward a shared vision, which was to develop a new sustainable program that prepared refugee and immigrant youth for their educational and workforce futures while supporting their cultural way of being. This article shares the evaluative study of this program, which reached teens in the Somali diaspora living in Minnesota. The program team had a long-term interest in developing an evidence-based model to suit this special population; this evaluation study was viewed as a step toward becoming evidence-based. The Somali American community supported the study because they valued the program and saw its cultural relevance. The evaluation used pre- and post-program surveys to capture program impacts in 2 outcome areas: workforce preparation and higher education preparation. Results showed that youth participants made gains in their perceptions of both outcome areas. However, gains displayed were unrelated to program attendance. Limitations and recommendations for future evaluation plans are provided.


youth development; refugee; immigrant; evaluation; sustainability

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2019.703

Copyright (c) 2019 Jennifer A. Skuza

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