We view adolescents’ development trajectory as being able to be significantly influenced by out-of school programs. We see the potential for growth and change as a core strength of youth. The strength we witness everyday in youth with less than ideal support is a cause for optimism. We believe that urban youth will succeed when stable and caring adults maintain high expectations for achievement, teach culturally relevant material focusing on student’s strengths, and relentlessly foster the qualities and attributes universally recognized as leading to success. We believe that youth thrive when engaged in activities that build important life skills, and participate in and lead valued activities.