The nine ingredients of New City Kids 'secret sauce'

Image courtesy of New City Kids

The organization’s co-founder, Trevor Rubingh, identifies nine elements of the New City Kids after-school model that contribute to its effectiveness.

  1. Relationship with Christ as a life journey: “We use everything we do as an opportunity to invite kids into a relationship with God, but we don’t stress conversion as a metric.”
  2. Quality: “There is this idea that kids in the city can get the broken equipment. We come from the opposite point of view -- let’s give them the very best. And how can we do the very best? We are very data driven.”
  3. Prayer: New City Kids takes on a heavy load -- kids who are going through heartbreaking things daily. “We take the weight and say, ‘God, we need you.’”
  4. Leadership: “Our goal is to bring transformation through the power of leadership development. The kids make mistakes and drop the $250 mics. If I go to your church and I don’t see dents in your mics, I know you are not doing leadership development.”
  5. Bring the magic: “We have transferable teaching, so a young adult can teach a teen, who can teach a kid.”
  6. Relationship-driven programming: “Relationships change lives, and spending those hours together brings transformation. You can have five years with a kid and ask what changed their life. They will always say a name.”
  7. Music: “At end of a six-hour school day, kids come in tired. Music re-energizes everything; it comes alive with this beautiful, engaging music that lifts people’s spirits.”
  8. College-bound culture: “We always send the message that they are college material.”
  9. The “middle 60”: “We aim for the kids who are keeping their heads down, trying to stay out of trouble, while 80 percent of [conventional] resources get deployed to either end of the spectrum. They are not used to the attention, so there is a huge return on investment.”