In 2007, active engagement in emerging research in the field of positive youth development led to the creation of our custom-written curriculum: The Diamond Standard (TDS) – Living a Life of Excellence ©; working together with youth to develop needed psychosocial skills, prosocial norms, whole-person wellness and healthy relationships.
In 2009, through a funding stream called the Statewide Strategic Use Fund, A Promising Future (APF) became a part of the Colorado Hope Collaborative, which blended the resources and expertise of eight community partners statewide to provide a comprehensive, wrap-around family strengthening program to help adolescents and young families. The Diamond Standard was a keystone resource of this outreach. As the lead agency of the grant, the APF program trained facilitators and oversaw classes in TDS in Denver, Pagosa Springs, Pueblo and the San Luis Valley. A standard of 15 contact hours of training for 65% of program participants was maintained, and classes were held to a consistent standard of fidelity. Classes were conducted weekly, at an average of 90 minutes for each of the ten curriculum sessions.
Aggregate post-survey results from 252 responses indicated high-level support for the effectiveness of the program. Based on a five-point Likert scale with one being “strongly disagree” and five being “strongly agree,” post-survey results displayed positive trends in awareness, knowledge and skill development related to goal setting, social-emotional development, conflict management, and communication skills; in particular for participants who attended a minimum of five out of ten class sessions.
Since the close of the SSUF grant in 2009, ongoing instruction in The Diamond Standard has been conducted in school environments both public and private, through government agencies, juvenile justice facilities, housing authorities, mentoring programs, and various agencies where APF has been allowed to implement instruction directly. Through instructor training in The Diamond Standard offered each year, we have also continued to train community partners from a large variety of organizations and public agencies.
In 2013, The Diamond Standard Instructor Training was registered with Colorado State University as a Continuing Education course, eligible to provide one graduate-level credit.
In 2014, APF completed a comprehensive revision of The Diamond Standard under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Rue, University of Northern Colorado. After her professional review of The Diamond Standard, including focus groups and interviews with participants, a comprehensive examination of session content was completed. The enhancements have increased readability, gender inclusivity and cross-cultural relevance.
In 2015 and 2016, APF was strategically positioned to begin the summative phase of a formal evaluation and sought the help of the Health Resource Consortium to analyze data and write a paper outlining the findings. CSU has since begun rewriting this article due to some data analytics issues, but The Diamond Standard has achieved evidence-informed status in the meantime.
A Promising Future has enjoyed a rich history of adjusting and adapting to the ongoing changes culture presents. APF is committed to serving students and will continue to better our resources as we learn from evaluation and research.
If you have specific questions regarding our origins, please reach out directly.