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Theory of Change

HomeWorks is changing the world, one girl at a time.

Our Challenge

Racism has evolved from slavery into other forms of violence and governmental policies that continually defund public housing, underfund educational institutions, cut food assistance, and legitimize mass incarceration. This is evident in our community Trenton, New Jersey:


of Trenton’s public school students do NOT meet Math State Standards


of high school students are chronically absent, missing more than 10% of school days per year


of Trenton’s public school students are NOT college ready

Black and Brown girls face further barriers as they navigate the intersection of racism and sexism. They experience a high rate of interpersonal violence; feel less safe at over-policed schools; may resort to ‘acting out’ when their counseling needs are disregarded; and receive disproportionate punitive punishment (Crenshaw).

I don't feel safe; my voice is not heard

I don't have the emotional support I deserve


higher suspension rate of Black girls compared to white girls


of Latinx girls face harassment because of their ethnicity 



HomeWorks' Model

5 1/2 Day Residential Program

Researched Programming


HomeWorks provides our scholars with a safe and supportive residential environment, daily transportation to and from their public schools, and after-school programming in their home community.

HomeWorks’ staff members, volunteers, tutors, and counselors create a unique space for scholars to achieve improved academic success, develop identity-driven leadership skills, and have fun!

Local Education and Community


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Our HomeWorks community creates a space where scholars foster deep connections, encouraging them to stay in the Trenton community and get involved in community-engaged projects and leadership.

Our Outcomes:

Over the course of 4 years our scholars:

  • 100% of scholars will graduate from high school.

  • At least 80% of scholars will graduate from high school with a 3.0 overall GPA.

  • 100% of scholars will be accepted to a 2 or 4 year college.

  • At least 80% of scholars will enroll in a 2 or 4 year college.

  • 100% of scholars will exhibit at least one leadership skill and activity inside and outside of the classroom.


To work towards these outcomes, over one year at HomeWorks, each scholar will achieve:

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Academic Success

Scholars will attend 90% or more of school days, acquire a regimented, consistent study schedule and academic and personal goal-setting skills through instruction from house staff and tutors, and maintain a 2.5+ GPA.

Identity-Driven Leadership Skills

Our tailored, internally developed program supports scholars’ character and leadership development. This includes a 12-week curriculum on topics like colorism, body-image, immigration and more; community engagement with local organizations; and a one-year capstone project. Other programming includes: visual arts, dance, public speaking, coding, sex education and group therapy.


Longterm Change

Improved Sense of Identity

"Increases in self-efficacy increases the number of leadership opportunities women pursue. Individuals with high self-esteem are more likely to pursue leadership positions"

(Issac et al. 2012).

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Increased Community Engagement

"This study suggests that youth programs effectively help youth develop their civic engagement skills, particularly when they include skill-building opportunities and equity norms" (Ballard et al. 2021).



"Participation in a [positive youth development] program starting at a young age may be associated with reduced poverty in adulthood, possibly aided by higher educational attainment and resultant increased income" (Sheehan et al. 2022)

Grassroots, People-Driven Systemic Change

"When Black adolescents join a pro social community based organization they develop a more adaptive identity, which they can use to actively address injustices" (Brittian, 2012).

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