Quantitative Findings

Findings from NSC.

The data set that was sent to NSC consisted of 161 names of past ConnectiKids participants in 5 cohorts: 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009. The data from NSC states that 50% of ConnectiKids individuals attended at least one semester of college. That turned out to be 80 individuals out of 161 ConnectiKids members. Amongst the 80 college-goers 86% went to a college within the state of Connecticut, 66% of individuals started at two year colleges and 81% started at public colleges. In total they spent an average of 8 semesters enrolled in college. 48% of these individuals attended multiple colleges during their time. Amongst the 80 college-goers, 32% earned a credential or degree. Of the 25 credential or degree earners, 52% of them earned a bachelor’s degree or more, with 96% earning an associate’s degree or more. Within the data we received from the NSC, 32.9% of ConnectiKids participants attended two year colleges and 17.5% of all those who attended college went on to complete the full two years. 16.8% of ConnectiKids pariticpants attended four years and 16.2% of all college attendees completed the full four years. The general college completion rate of Connectikids college attendees was 15.5%. 

To compare, we collected data regarding New England highschool seniors in 2013 using the National Center for Education Statistics. The two year attendance for New England high school seniors was 26.4% and 19% completed after two years. 37.4% attended four years of college while 36.2% completed the four years. Any attendance of college was 63.8% and any completion was 22%. For National college attendance and completion we again used NCES to find the proper data. The two year attendance was 27.9% while the completion was 34.9%. The Nationwide four year attendance was 46.5% and the completion was 59.1%. 68% attended any college but only 52.9% went on to complete. 

2-year Attend  2- year Complete 4-year 




Any Attend Any Complete 

(Douglas, 2022)

32.9% 17.5% 16.8% 16.2% 50.3% 15.5%
New England 

(NCES, 2022)

26.4% 19.1% 37.4% 36.2% 63.8% 22%

(NCES, 2009)

27.9% 34.9% 46.5% 59.1% 68% 52.9%


Findings from Survey. We gathered seven completed surveys sent out to Connectikids alumni for our survey findings. Out of all the individuals we surveyed, all graduated high school and went to college. All survey respondents also indicated that they have a stable residency. Additionally, when asked to rate their present circumstances on a scale of 1 to 5 all of the respondents answered with a 4 or 5.


Which of these best describes your individual/household income last year?


Individual Income Household Income
$71,000 to $104,000 $105,000 to $275,000
$22,500 to $45,000 $22,500 to $45,000
$46,000 to $70,000 $46,000 to $70,000
$0 to $22,400 $22,500 to $45,000
$22,500 to $45,000 $22,500 to $45,000
$46,000 to $70,000 $71,000 to $104,000
$22,500 to $45,000 $22,500 to $45,000


The table above indicates that Connectikids alumni have a relatively stable income. The average answer for both individual and household income was within the $22,500 to $45,000 range. In household income, about 50% of the respondents had an income greater than $45,000 and 0% of the respondents reported an income less than $22,500. 

One of the survey questions asked how you would describe your time in the Connectikids program and seven out of seven of the respondents said it was “very beneficial”. The following question asked how beneficial were the relationships you made in the Connectikids program? Six out of seven answered that it was “very beneficial” with one respondent selecting “somewhat beneficial”. All seven respondents said they would recommend the Connectikids program to other families and all seven said they would like to be reconnected with the program. 

Qualitative Findings:

 For our qualitative data, we conducted three semi-structured interviews and we used the surveys as a recruitment tool. From our coding we found three main themes presented in the table below: positive memories, social support, and mentorship. 

Code Meaning Quote Examples
Positive memories  Past experiences that shaped someone into a better person for the future, giving them the push to strive for greatness during tough times.  “Once we were done with the tutoring session, Chad allowed us to play hide and seek in that church, you know what church I’m talking about on asylum avenue? … Just imagine playing hide and seek in that big space … that was like a memorable moment. It was just so fun as a kid.” 


“For example, like karate… it was like a tournament… And low and behold, I made it to the final round… I go first but I miss it… She wins hands down…They were like surrounding me. And they was like, yo, we’re so proud of you. Like you did the best so far… you may not be where you wanna be, but there’s always people in your corner.”

Mentorship Trusted advisor – someone you can rely on who you see on a regular basis. Could be a coach, teacher, older student, family member etc. “I attended his [Ricardo], uh, funeral, um, that broke me to the core, um, because he and Chad, they were just like, they were positive, um, adults and, and my life and other kids in a community lives. So those two men just made a major impact on me.”

“They [ConnectiKids] helped me out, you know, with college applications and things like that.”

“So those two people had a major impact on leading me into wanting to go into social work.”

Social support  Having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. “So just wanting to be around and in that space of, you know, like minded people or positive people.”

“I received so much help from them because they were there when, you know, sometimes I didn’t have someone there for me.”

“[I] just wanted to be able to provide for my family, wanted to be around the people who supported me that were like-minded and positive.”

“I never had a dad growing up and they [ConnectiKids] were there to help whenever my mom couldn’t be there.”


Quantitative Analysis

NSC Analysis. The data collected from NSC indicated that, generally, ConnectiKids students are more likely than New England seniors to start at two-year colleges, with an attendance rate of 32.9% as compared to 26.4%. They are far less likely than both their peers nationally and in New England to attend four-year colleges, and also less likely to complete any college degree. While viewing nationwide and New England data next to that of ConnectiKids data, it’s important to take socio-economic status and marginalization into consideration. The national median income is $31,113, New England is $ 27,585 and Hartford is $22,226. The City of Hartford is far more economically disadvantaged than the New England region in which it sits. This explains why more ConnectiKids participants decided to start in community colleges, as they are considerably more affordable. 

Out of all college attendees, ConnectiKids participants have a two year college completion rate of 17.5%. Their four-year completion rate is 16.2% as compared to the four-year attendance rate of 16.8% for all Connectikids participants. This shows that, while fewer ConnectiKids participants attend four-year colleges overall, the vast majority who do attend are able to finish.

Out of  the whole sample, the completion rate of both two- and four-year degrees was 15.5% for ConnectiKids and 52.9% nationally. Taken into context, this can be explained by two main points. The demographics within the ConnectiKids program are not consistent with the national demographics in many ways, most significantly in terms of socioeconomic and marginalized status. Additionally, because ConnectiKids participants are more likely to attend community college, their completion rates are negatively skewed by non-degree or certificate programs, as well as the number of students who may have transferred credits to a four-year school, or may still be in the process of completing their degree. 

When compared to a more analogous sample, ConnectiKids data is more favorable. For example, in Hartford an average of 20% of the population attends college. ConnectiKids organization college attendance rate is 50.3%, meaning ConnectiKids is putting considerably more kids into college than the City of Hartford on average. While we do not have evidence for a causal relationship, this 250% difference in attendance  is substantive and warrants additional investigation.

Overall, when comparing the ConnectiKids, New England, and nationwide data, we can see that the ConnectiKids participants are not that far off from regional and national averages. This becomes even more impressive when considering the marginalized status of the sample. The ConnectiKids organization is proving that despite lower socioeconomic status than the region and the nation, and the additional challenge of marginalization, they still are pushing past perceived limits and successfully putting individuals in colleges and universities. More importantly, they are helping individuals get degrees that can lead to future upward economic mobility. 

Survey Analysis. Stability, or the state of being or feeling safe and established, whether in work, housing, friendships etc., is a huge factor when discussing the influence ConnectiKids had on past participants. In our working definition of stability we include finances as well as an element of mental well-being. Thus, when we examined stability in our survey we asked our respondents about their income, residence, and their mental health. 100% of the survey respondents reported that they had stable residencies and 75% described their mental health as “very good”. This indicates that the respondents have generally been able to establish a sense of security in their personal and professional lives. Notably, there was a correlation between the two individuals who indicated their mental health as either “neutral” or “somewhat good” and those that indicated potential confusion or unhappiness in their work. This is consistent with the PYD understanding that a sense of purpose is conducive to positive development (Ramney & Rose-Kasnor, 2012). Thus, the tendency of past participants to show a positive mental health and a positive association with both their work and their current circumstances, indicates that ConnectiKids participants can generally successfully cultivate a sustained sense of purpose and stability. 

The literature also supports a correlation between interpersonal social connections and confidence, and between both of these protective factors and their subsequent positive outcomes (Lerner et al., 2021). This connection is best represented in our findings regarding social support. For example, all of the survey respondents said the relationships they built at ConnectiKids were beneficial, with all but one choosing the highest ranking, “very beneficial”. This points to a strong staff who connected with individual kids and provided them with a safe social support system. Additionally, six out of seven survey respondents indicated they have a strong support system now. This, along with the positive mental health outcomes recorded above, displays a clear connection between the ability to form positive interpersonal connections as youth and adults.  

Qualitative Analysis

Based on the stories we collected from our interviews, being a part of ConnectiKids had a positive influence on our respondents’ lives. Positive memories, social support, and mentorship were among the themes that were most frequently alluded to. When asked how they remembered their time in the Connectikids program and what specific memories they could retain from their experiences, interviewees typically described it like this: 

R:  “I remember like, you know, being grateful, it was fun. It was so much fun and so much help. I received so much help from them because they were there when  I never had a dad growing up and they were there to help  whenever my mom couldn’t be there, they were there for me.” (Connectikids Alumni)

R:  “For example, like karate… it was like a tournament… And low and behold, I made it to the final round… I go first but I miss it… She wins hands down…They were like surrounding me. And they were like, yo, we’re so proud of you. Like you did the best so far… you may not be where you wanna be, but there’s always people in your corner.”

These memories indicate a positive association with their ConnectiKids experiences. Not only were they able to form strong relationships and feel safe enough to have fun while they were in the program, they were able to find support that transferred into other aspects of their life. The second respondent above spoke about their memory of a karate tournament, a moment where they could have experienced pain from their loss but instead experienced the wholehearted support of their ConnectiKids family. 

Other responses of note emphasized the relationships cultivated with mentors at ConnectiKids and the meaningful impact they had on the participants’ lives. 

R: “Honestly, they made me make the right choices … how I saw them moving in life really made me sway from doing bad things.”

R:  “like she was my mom and she went with me to school and I graduated because of that. I wasn’t even gonna be able to graduate. Maybe it wasn’t for help.” (Connectikids Alumni)

Mentorship, a key strategy in PYD program design and ConnectiKids program design, played a clear role in our interviewees positive experiences at ConnectiKids. The presence and engagement of a good mentor and their ability to make a meaningful connection has extreme significance in the literature.  Mentors have been proven to have a positive impact on social-emotional, cognitive, and identity processes as well as emotional, high-risk behavior, academic, and career domains (Dubois et al, 2011). Among the ConnectiKids mentors, two mentors were mentioned and highly acknowledged, Chad and Ricardo. Nearly two decades after leaving the program, every interviewee mentioned Ricardo by name and two-thirds of them mentioned Chad. One of our interviewees noted that Ricardo passed away years back and stated, “I attended his funeral …  that broke me to the core, because he and Chad, they were positive adults in my life … those two men just made a major impact on me.” Chad and Ricardo are good examples of mentors who had a significant impact on the youth they connected with. To remember someone fondly after 20 years is a sign of great respect and love. It would be accurate to say the mentors at ConnectiKids fulfilled their mentoring responsibilities and positively influenced the youth participants.

Social support, or having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis is proven to provide a positive self-image. During their time at ConnectiKids, social support was shown by the program’s faculty and successfully practiced. Our interview respondents indicated that the mentors served as both role models and friends. Phrases like “they were there for me”, “they made me make the right choices”, and just being able to surround yourself with “like-minded” and “positive” people, were consistent in all three interviews. 

The recurrence of each of these themes support the idea that ConnectiKids presents participants with the opportunity to engage with a positive community and consequently manifest positive outcomes for themselves. Their ability to develop  positive interpersonal relationships with both peers and adults enable them to enjoy their childhood and take positive lessons with them into adulthood.



In this study, we addressed the research question: What long term outcomes have ConnectiKids’ participants experienced since their participation in the ConnectiKids program? Our findings demonstrate that, as a whole, past ConnectiKids participants are likely to attend some form of post-secondary education and if they do, they are likely to complete their chosen program. We also found that the individual and household incomes of the past participants were significant enough to establish a sense of financial security and a stable place of residence. Most importantly, we found that the presence of experienced and dedicated mentors was highly valuable in providing participants with a feeling of security. We also found that the self worth that arose as a result of the social support system the participants cultivated in ConnectiKids persisted into adulthood. While this study was small in size, it still has positive implications for the ConnectiKids program. Our findings demonstrate that ConnectiKids is committed to a PYD framework and design, and our research supports the notion that mentorship and having positive interpersonal relationships with peers and adults is a foundational principle in both PYD literature and in ConnectiKids’ program design. Finally, our research shows that ConnectiKids has thus far succeeded in providing positive long term outcomes as well as the positive short term outcomes that they have recorded annually. 

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