Project GPS: An Introduction - Step-It-Up-2

Project GPS: An Introduction
Ed Bowers, Ph.D.
Program Director
Chris Napolitano, M.A.
Research Assistant
Mimi Arbeit
Research Assistant
Richard M. Lerner
Principal Investigator
Important recent projects
What are we
trying to do?
Project GPS Goal for youth: To improve the goal
management—or intentional self regulation—skills of
youth in mentoring programs, helping them to
achieve their goals and develop positively.
Project GPS Goal for programs: To provide a
research- and evidence- based, scientifically
validated, flexible suite of tools designed to measure
the longitudinal impact of programs on youth’s ISR
and positive development.
Where does GPS Theory come from?
Positive development happens when
youth strengths are matched with
contextual strengths.
One of the most important youth strengths
is ISR, or the ability to successfully select,
work on, and adjust strategies for
important life goals.
In GPS Theory, there are three main skills:
G, P, and S
Goal Selection
 Selecting meaningful, realistic, long-term goals
 Being selective and “investing energy” in longterm goals
 Goals should have short-term steps
 Goals should improve life in multiple ways
 The best goals benefit self and community
Pursuit of Strategies
 Developing a plan and sticking to it
 Practicing current strategies and looking for
new ones
 Using strategies with persistent effort at
appropriate times
 Monitoring progress to see if strategies are
Shifting Gears
 Replacing strategies that aren’t working with
new ones
 Adjusting strategies so that they might work in
the future
 Looking for help from people and other
 Moving on to new goals at the right time
Positive Youth Development
Time intensive
Self report
Odd language
How do we measure GPS and
a universal
coding system
Scoring Guide for Mentor Rubrics
5 Consistent initiative;
skill mastery
“I’ve got this.”
4 “On and off” initiative;
skill competence
“I’m doing well, but…”
3 Emerging initiative;
basic skill
“I really need your help.”
2 Lacks initiative;
low skill
“Fine, I’ll do it.”
1 Lacks skill;
“I don’t care.”
pre-aware or disengaged
Project GPS Tools
Nuts + Bolts
Nuts + Bolts
 Now you need to:
Participate in training
Complete your consent form
Identify the youth you will work with
Obtain consent (from the youth and guardians)
Nuts + Bolts
 At your first Project GPS meeting
with the youth, you need to:
Introduce GPS using Introductory Sessions A-D
Youth and mentor both complete first rubrics online
Nuts + Bolts
 At later meetings with the youth,
you can:
Re-introduce GPS
Ask about goals
Use activities and videos as desired
Do the rubrics online 2 more times
Go for the GOAL!
Project GPS:
Hands-on Training
 There are several types of rubrics in Project GPS.
 Rubrics vary by who will complete them, what they
measure, and the age range of youth to which they
 Today, we will go over the mentor-completed GPS
rubrics for younger and older adolescents in detail.
Practice makes perfect!
 Each video shows a young adult exemplar
 While no single video covers each of the GPS and PYD
skills, all of the skills are discussed in at least one of
the videos.
 For example, one mentor might choose a video that
highlights “Seizing the Moment” if the mentee struggles
with knowing the right time to act.
Beth’s story
Josh’s story
What tools can mentors use
to boost GPS?
Use the Activities!
Rubrics and videos may not always be enough to promote
GPS and PYD.
Project GPS has a full suite of activities designed to help
mentors teach skills when mentees are having trouble.
Puzzle Pieces
Breaking down long term goals
into short term steps
 Breaking down a goal into small steps is like identifying
the puzzle pieces that fit together
 In this activity, youth will write or draw their goal on one
side of cardboard, and then make puzzle pieces that
represent each of the smaller steps towards the larger
For example:
Making the Honor Roll
 Take notes during class
 Study for tests and quizzes
 Make a study group
 Ask for help on things I don’t understand
 Do homework
 Ask for extra credit
Now it’s your turn!
Pick a goal and start puzzling!
Road Map and Travel Log
Checking Progress
 Checking progress towards reaching a goal can be like
keeping track of the stops along a road trip.
 In this activity, the youth will create a “map” of the steps
and strategies involved in reaching their goals.
 They can use this map to check progress and revise
action plans.
Develop a “road map” to a goal,
listing all the steps along the way.
 In one color, make a route to your goal. This is your
action plan. In another color, following the route, list
the actions you have already taken.
 Be creative! Add detours, rest stops, scenic views or
maybe even some deadlines.
Make a roadmap that shows the
“journey” you will take while using
Project GPS with your mentee.
Some stops along the way include…
 Complete consent forms
 Participate in training
 Identify the youth you will
work with
 Obtain consent from
matches and guardians
 Get ID number
 Introduce GPS concepts and
rubrics to youth with
overview sessions
 Complete the first rubric
assessment, have youth
complete their own
 Use activities as needed
• Complete the rubric assessment two more times, at roughly
even spacing.
• Keep track of all activities you use in this process!
Project GPS benefits
1. Provides measureable evidence of impact
2. Identifies areas of strength and areas that might need
more attention
3. Contributes to the development of materials
Project GPS benefits mentors
1. Provides user-friendly empirical information about
youth development
2. Activities and videos complement and extend your
3. Is a great opportunity to reflect and plan with youth
Project GPS benefits YOUTH!
1. Identifies areas of strength and areas that might need
more attention
2. Provides a well-thought out plan to reach their goals,
the motivation to pursue those goals, and the life skills
critical to successfully achieving those goals.
Reflecting on the Day
1. What happened?
2. So what?
3. Now what?
1. What happened?
 What was one thing you learned today that you will use
if you implement Project GPS?
 How do you see Project GPS fitting into your program?
2. So what?
 How do you think Project GPS can impact the lives of
your youth?
 How do the goals of Project GPS relate to the goals of
your program?
3. Now what?
What are the next steps you need to take in order to
ensure an effective launch of Project GPS within your
Let’s hit the road!
 Remember to bring your GPS
 Email us if you have questions or feedback at
[email protected]
 Look for materials to be posted by January 19 at

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