Changing for the better. Changing the odds. 

Adolescence is a time of remarkable opportunity & growth. Youth discover, learn from, & adapt to the world around them. Young people learn to make decisions, manage their emotions, & create deeper connections with peers & others in their communities. During this time, youth build resilience. They also begin to develop the interests, passions, & meaningful goals that will shape their adult lives. 

Developing brains are well suited to these tasks, but too often the systems that serve them are not. Improving point-of-service program quality is a powerful way to transform dysfunctional & discriminatory systems from the ground up. The Weikart Center partners with youth-serving organizations to change the odds that every young person will be equipped to explore, discover, & become a force for good in their communities and society at large. 

Adapted from the Frameworks Institute original text 


how it works

  • In the policy setting, networks adopt program quality standards & commit resources to the Assess-Plan-Improve process. 


  • In the organizational setting, leaders implement a set of continuous improvement practices focused on the quality of staff practices. 


  • In the point-of-service setting, the programming youth experience, staff in a high-quality program provide youth with opportunities to meet crucial developmental needs. 

The YPQI is at the vanguard of the movement toward higher levels of understanding, expectation, & action around the quality of experiences available to young people in OST settings. The Weikart Center activates the Forum for Youth Investment’s driving theory of change in the OST context.

This QuEST to change the odds for children and youth hinges on equipping and empowering leaders to create a culture of continuous improvement. That’s where the YPQI truly excels.  

Focusing on “quality” can sometimes feel vague and intimidating. The YPQI represents years of research and field testing geared toward helping you transfer quality and engagement at the leadership level into concrete staff skills and tangible youth outcomes. Best of all, this approach helps programs continue to evolve, positioning improvement as an ongoing process rather than a one-time goal.  

We can accomplish so much when quality is associated with progress, not policing. 

It’s all connected.

Our Vision

All young people reach their fullest potential - in education, work, and life.

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