In 2013, we ran a research project on our alumni (past programme participants) funded by the First Rand Foundation. We looked at three key outcomes: social and emotional competencies, post school activities, and support structures.
enke’s definition of leadership is ‘the ability to take an idea and turn it into reality’. We have identified four key competencies we think are foundational to youth leadership development – grit, self-efficacy, growth mindset, and social awareness. We found that:
- Positive Impact on Key Social & Emotional Competencies
- Grit and growth mindset increase across project status – i.e. those who finished a social impact project had higher scores than those who didn’t start.
- Self-efficacy (higher internal locus of control) was lowest for people who finished but people said they felt more confident and had better self-esteem by just starting a project, regardless of completion.
- Social awareness may be less important for successfully completing projects.
- Post School Activities
- Most young people who had graduated high school were at university (76%)
- Alumni had high levels of entrepreneurship and volunteering compared to SA stats.
- All measures of employment, education and training were above the national average.
- It seems that if alumni started a project during their time with enke (regardless of finishing it) they were more likely to start social impact projects now.
- Support Structures
- Young people with more support structures in place completed their social impact projects.
- Emotional support is more important than practical support.
- 2011 and 2012 alumni had marginally higher total social and emotional skills scores – support structures may play a role in building these skills rather than action alone. This is evidence for continued support from enke and community structures