a web-based social networking platform to help young people build their social capital
In 2010, Pivot Learning Partners launched, Who Are Your Five (WY5), a web-based social networking platform that helps young people build their social capital, giving them the support they need to successfully transition into college and adulthood. Pivot Learning is currently piloting WY5 in a range of educational settings.
WY5 connects under-resourced students to a team of adults who support their educational, career and life interests throughout high school, college and beyond. Through WY5 youth learn how to cultivate their interests, motivation, and sense of purpose. WY5 offers an interactive space in which students can establish and share their self-determined goals and plans, and learn how to build the social capital they will need to graduate from college. Through the WY5 platform, students:
- Build a Team: Youth select a team of adult mentors who will support them and help expand their social capital. Students also reflect on and analyze their past and current support networks, and determine who they want on their WY5 team. This process teaches youth how to leverage networks of adults and others to support their college and career aspirations.
- Find a Dream: Youth explore educational, career and life goals through an interactive and collaborative process that allows for their team of mentors to contribute.
- Make it Real: Young adults use planning tools that promote reflection and skill-building, and link them to online resources and information.
A WY5 Community Coach, a trained employee from the sponsoring organization or school, supports youth users and their team members through the early stages of WY5 and builds their capacity to be independent users of the platform.
Unlike other youth oriented social networking sites (e.g., Facebook) which are geared towards entertainment amongst peers, WY5 is designed to connect youth to a team of caring adults who have resources that can support their career and college aspirations. WY5 is also a closed loop social networking site that is closely monitored by a trained community coach to ensure that it is being used productively and safely.