Valued Youth Partnership

Successful Dropout Prevention

Valued Youth Partnership

The IDRA Valued Youth Partnership is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school.

The Valued Youth Partnership, created by the Intercultural Development Research Association, is an internationally-recognized, cross-age tutoring program with an unusual twist. This dropout prevention program works by identifying junior high and high school students in at-risk situations and enlisting them as tutors for elementary school youngsters who are also struggling in school. Given this role of personal and academic responsibility, the Valued Youth tutors learn self-discipline and develop self-esteem; schools shift to the philosophy and practices of valuing students considered at-risk.

Results show that tutors stay in school, have increased academic performance, improved school attendance and advanced to higher education.

“The Valued Youth Partnership exemplifies IDRA’s asset-based approach. The program is based on the creed that all students are valuable, none is expendable,” stated Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel. “It has maintained a less than 2 percent dropout rate, which is an incredible legacy.”

Since its inception in 1984, the program has kept 35,000 students in school, young people who were previously considered at risk of dropping out. The lives of more than 725,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program. The program design is based on IDRA research on the dropout issue and school holding power. The program has grown across the United States and has been in Brazil, England and Puerto Rico.

See the program brochure

See news releases and statements in our pressroom.


*formerly named the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

  • Resources
  • Program Overview
    Get info
  • Program Brochure
    See PDF
  • Tutor Essay Contest – See what students are saying about the program
    Winning Essays
  • Video: Valued Youth Partnership Dropout Prevention that Works
    See video on YouTube
  • Video clips show how the program impacts students and schools.
    See Video Page
  • Continutities - Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program
    See PDF

Getting Started at Your School

How do schools move from having a dropout rate that raises concern to having a successful dropout prevention and youth leadership program? The Valued Youth Partnership* offers one possibility. The program can be readily replicated, it has been tested and proven, and IDRA offers training and technical assistance to support its accomplishment. The role of…

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Program Overview

The Valued Youth Partnership* is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. In the program, secondary students who are considered at-risk of dropping out of school are placed as tutors of elementary students, enabling them to make a difference in the younger students’ lives. Dropout Prevention…

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Valued Youth Partnership Videos

Video Clips about the Valued Youth Partnership* Quick overview of how the Valued Youth Partnership program impacts students and schools. (01:30) Overview of the Valued Youth Partnership program. (012:00) Parents and students talk about how the Valued Youth Partnership program has made a difference in their lives. (00:41) Teens talk about how the Valued Youth…

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News Stories

Highlights from News Stories about the Valued Youth Partnership Six Young Tutors Win 2017 National Essay Contest Awards Six students received prizes in a national competition among participants in the IDRA Valued Youth Partnership*, a nationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program of the Intercultural Development Research Association. Valued Youth Partnership tutors wrote about how the program helped…

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IDRA Valued Youth Partnership Student Essay Contest

IDRA Valued Youth Partnership Tutors Share Stories of the Program’s Impact on Their Lives Teens Win 2019 National Essay Contest Awards See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2019 (pdf). See color highlights flier for 2019 (pdf). The winners are… High School First Place Winner – Anahi Ortiz, 12th Grade, Odessa High School,…

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Research-Based Design

The Valued Youth Partnership* was identified as an effective program in Show Me the Evidence! Proven and Promising Programs for America’s Schools, by Dr. Robert E. Slavin and Dr. Olatokunbo S. Fashola. The authors report that the Valued Youth Partnership is one of only two programs designed to increase the high school graduation rates of…

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Program Elements

The philosophy of the Valued Youth Partnership gives strength to its instructional strategies and support strategies. Instructional Strategies Classes for Tutors: Tutors meet with their secondary school teacher coordinator once a week in order to: develop tutoring skills that enable them to become successful student tutors; reflect on and celebrate their successes and contributions, thus…

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Evaluation Design

Our evaluation holds IDRA and our partner schools accountable to student success – a less than 2 percent dropout rate and improved academic achievement. The evaluation design for the Valued Youth Partnership* is one of the most rigorous and comprehensive in the country. The ongoing evaluation provides information throughout the program, allowing for adjustments to…

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Recognition and Awards

White House named IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program a Hispanic Ed “Bright Spot” Approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Program Effectiveness Panel for inclusion in the National Diffusion Network, April 1991 Peter F. Drucker Foundation Award for Non-profit Management “The program has made me more confident. I have new confidence and have more pride…

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Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

In 2009, IDRA celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, an empirically-tested dropout prevention program implemented in 550 schools in the continental United States,Puerto Rico, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The program works…

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The Program in Brazil

13 Years of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Brazil IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based dropout prevention program that since 1984 has been implemented in schools across the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The program was in Brazil for 13 years, ending in 2012, having expanded…

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