Impact of After-School Programs on Rural Youth: A Case Study of Fusion Youth Centre
This thesis investigates the impact of after-school programs on youth in rural communities. A case study of the Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre in Ingersoll, Ontario was conducted to explore the relationship between program participation and the development experiences of youth participants ages 12 to 18 years. The Youth Experience Survey created by Hansen and Larson (2002) was selected for this study to assess the positive and negative youth development experiences of Fusion youth participants, measuring experiences within conceptual domains of Identity Work, Initiative, Basic Skills, Positive Relationships, Team Work and Social Skills, Adult Networks and Social Capital, and Negative Experiences. The study found that all domains measuring positive youth development experiences were positively correlated, with the strongest experiences associated with the domains of Identity Work, Basic Skills, Positive Relationships, and Team Work and Social Skills. In addition, the study concluded that participants’ youth development significantly increased with duration of membership and intensity of participation at Fusion.