Tom Sun

Transitional Coach, UTEC

The Organization

UTEC's mission is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.

UTEC’s nationally recognized model begins with intensive street outreach and gang peacemaking, reaching out to young adults (ages 17-25) who have serious criminal or gang involvement to meet them “where they’re at.” UTEC engages youth in workforce development and alternative education. Social justice and civic engagement are embedded in all programming, with special emphasis in our youth-led grassroots organizing, locally and statewide. UTEC defines the "social and economic success" of its mission through three key outcomes: Reduced Recidivism, Increased Employability, and Increased Educational Attainment.

Why Tom is a Superstar

Tom Sun is the longest running member of UTEC's Transitional Coach team, which provides intensive support services to young adults. He has a passion for youth work, a terrific ability to build relationships with a diverse group of young people, and great success with helping them reach their goals. Based on seven years of experience on the team—and effective use of data to learn and improve—he provides excellent guidance and support to new staff.

Tom meets with his supervisor monthly to review his contacts with the young people on his caseload and their progress in the program. He uses these data and discussions to consider how he can best help each of his young people achieve their goals, and to re-engage those young adults who have been contacted the least. Through this practice, Tom makes sure that all the young people on his caseload feel that they are supported and moving forward.

The Data:

Tom has demonstrated his strength in making contacts and relationships with the young adults in his portfolio (significant contacts=spending at least 30 minutes with the young adults). This is a comparison with the other Transitional Coaches. He also demonstrated his prowess in reaching the young adults in their homes by making 57% of all the home visits made during the period. Home visits are very instrumental in reaching the difficult to engage population.

Of the young adults who moved up in the workforce program, 80% came from Tom’s portfolio. This demonstrates that they are making progress towards completing the workforce program thanks to his efforts to engage them.

The Transitional Coaches work with young adults to complete a total of 13 benchmarks that are necessary for them to function in the workforce. Completing this “awesome board” may take anywhere from one to three years. In the period between January and March 2016, Tom had 63% of his portfolio complete the “awesome board,” compared to the other Transitional Coaches’ 58% and 46%.