Youth development programs and JAKAPA

JAKAPA is a youth development tool

Hundreds of programs aim to address youth development, provide opportunities for leadership experiences or connect youth to mentors and advocates who can help them shape their futures. Identifying the return on this investment can be tricky. Often programs use logistics data, such as the number of youth involved, the length of time they are engaged or the number of activities they finished. This data doesn’t show impact. It simply shows participation. Having a strong and validated impact measure to prove programs work is essential for establishing the return on investment for funding and securing ongoing funding. JAKAPA can help your organization become more competitive for grant dollars to fund your youth initiatives. We also can be a valuable program resource to help your students build the skills that matter for success.

How JAKAPA works

Our system measures, trains and tracks 32 skills in five areas: emotional resilience, innovation, cooperation, social engagement and self-management. Our self and peer assessments can help programs show growth over time. They also provide a variety of perspectives to help youth build self-awareness. Our assessments are also customizable, so we can design them so they are aligned to your program. For example, a youth development program might focus on improving academic performance and help students develop study skills. JAKAPA can measure task and time management, organization, consistency, detail management and other skills that are essential to good study habits. We can produce pre- and post-assessments to help you better understand how your program impacted student skills. We also can disaggregate the data so you can determine impact for varying types of participants. 

JAKAPA takes 10-15 minutes daily. Our weekly challenge system targets one set of skills each week. Students have opportunities to complete self assessments, ask others to assess them, learn about the skills, track their activities and set goals. The system is totally gamified, so it is easy to create incentive and reward structures to enhance engagement. 

JAKAPA means Yes, Team. KAPA is the Maori term for team and JA means yes in many languages. Most youth development programming has group activities and projects. We can help you shine a light on the value of the process of working together instead of just focusing on the product. This can be a valuable way to help students see the skills they need to work collaboratively toward a shared goal, get along with others and leverage their strengths for the betterment of a team. Leaders can design customized peer assessments and group students so they can rate what skills they observe in each other. 

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"My JAKAPA demo quickly helped me understand how easy it would be to implement THE JAKAPA soft skill solution IN My school."
—Missouri Educator

Using JAKAPA data

Our data shows strengths, areas for improvement, comparative data between peer and self-assessment scores and growth over time in peer and self-assessment scores. We also offer a self-awareness score that shows students whether their view of their skills matches with how others view them. The goal isn’t to be great at everything. We need to be self-aware so we can leverage our strengths and put necessary supports in place to prevent our skills gaps from becoming a liability to our success.

For programs that work on career development, we can be a useful tool to help students understand the skills needed in various jobs or career fields and how their skills measure up. Soft skills account for about 85% of success at work, while academic and technical skills only account for about 15% of job success.

JAKAPA can be a great impact measure to help you understand how your program is advancing youth development. We also can be a great intervention. In addition to our assessment system, we offer a weekly challenge feature where students engage with JAKAPA for 10-15 minutes per day to build skills, reflect on their data and set goals. Our weekly challenge system is totally gamified and focuses on one set of skills each week. Therefore, in a school semester, students will have three complete sets of data to study engagement and impact.

Students can download their reports and use them in portfolios or with applications for a job, scholarship or college admissions.

To learn more about how to integrate JAKAPA into your afterschool programming or youth development program, see our step by step guide found here


JAKAPA measures what matters. We can measure the critical skills you are working hard to build in your after school and youth development programs.

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 Congratulations on reaching this point! At JAKAPA, we are passionate about developing soft skills and are excited to share more with you! 

Explore the possibilities of implementing JAKAPA in your district by clicking here

If you’re eager to understand the inner workings of JAKAPA, click here

Is JAKAPA the perfect fit for your district? Take the plunge and schedule a short demo with our team by clicking here

We can’t wait to connect with you!

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