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Created, tested, revised and refined over the past 19 years

The MGP methodology for student change is rooted in research-based theories. Midnight Golf Program participants have a much higher college graduation rate than the national average for African Americans.

Midnight Golf Program participants have a much higher college graduation rate (60 percent) than the national average for African American students (40 percent) and a five times higher rate than other Detroit young people.

“Only about 4 in 10 (41 percent) of African American students who start college as first-time, full-time freshmen earn bachelor’s degrees within six years — a rate 22 percentage points below that of their White peers.” — The Education Trust, 2017


Positive Peer Influence

Friends with admirable characteristics or talents can motivate their peers to achieve and act the same. Peers can encourage each other to study hard at school and can also help them think more creatively.

STAD (Student Teams achievement Divisions) Cooperative Learning Method

Mixed groups stimulate peer interaction and learner-to-learner cooperation while fostering successful learning for all.

Rigor, Relevance and Relationships framework

Higher standards of student achievement involves engaging students in quality subject matter (rigor), making sure the content is pertinent to their lives (relevance), and conveying it through trusting presenters (relationships). Based on the work of International Center for Leadership Education.

Developmental Relationships (Search Institute)

Development relationships involve showing young people that they matter, pushing them to keep improving, helping them with tasks and goals, treating them with respect and giving them a say, and connecting them with people and places that broaden their world.

Other youth development best strategies

Other best practices and approaches have demonstrated ways to create a learning environment that is supportive, empowering, rewarding, enduring and expecting (of positive behavior). Previous learnings also show us that activities should be structured around skill building; authentic, interactive activities; and broadening horizons for the greatest impact.
These theories, studies and frameworks are foundational to MGP’s approach and they influence all aspects of our programming, including:

1. Recruitment

We recruit based on grit and determination – not GPA – and strive to have a healthy mix of different performing students from various socio-economic backgrounds and a cross-section of high schools.

2. Training Sequence

We present the curriculum, starting with activities that help to build relationships among peers. Next, students learn and practice a variety of hard and soft skills. College and career readiness are emphasized throughout.

3. Supportive Environment

We have an atmosphere and structure where developmental relationships between mentors, peers and staff are strong, and students are not afraid to ask for help and guidance.

4. Peer-To-Peer Approach

Our young people naturally establish a framework of behavioral expectations and gain a better understanding of themselves as they interact with others. New supportive peer groups are formed; because of peer influence, many young people reinvent themselves and their vision of their future.

5. Mentor-To-Peer Relationships

We have a mentorship component where supportive relationships blossom between adult mentors and the young people they mentor.

6. Content & Curriculum

We look at rigor and relevance when determining training topics, and we select instructors who young people can relate to and trust. Many mentors participated in the Midnight Golf Program when they were young adults.

7. Road Trip For Success College Tour

Our week-long Road Trip for Success offers a chance to expand young people’s horizons and expose them to travel and college exploration. Read more.