PROMISE: Lessons learned from six model demonstration projects through the Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income Project


Wordmark for ASPIRE.

Achieving Success by Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment (ASPIRE) is a consortium of six western states: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. The project was led by a single entity known as the ASPIRE Project Leadership (APL), which consisted of the ASPIRE program director, an executive secretary, two trainers, and a technology specialist, all employees of the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR). The management team included the APL, six state coordinators, and an evaluation team. The evaluation team consisted of evaluators from three universities who worked together with USOR to develop the formative evaluation throughout the delivery of PROMISE services. Services were provided through more than 43 service provider partners. ASPIRE project materials  


Youth participants total


Treatment group


Control group


Final participation numbers from projects as of September 30, 2019

Treatment Group Demographics


Average youth age at enrollment: 15.4



67.5 percent


32.5 percent

Primary impairment

Pie chart describing primary impairment

Intellectual and developmental disability

46.5 percent

Other mental impairment

26.5 percent

Physical disability

19.7 percent

Other or unknown

5 percent

Speech, hearing, or visual

2.4 percent


Pie chart describing race/ethnicity


36 percent

White non Hispanic

35.2 percent

Black non Hispanic

9.5 percent


7.6 percent

American Indian

6.9 percent


4.8 percent

Parent/guardian employment

Either parent/guardian employed at any time in the 12 months before project: 69.9 percent

Average monthly earnings in 12 months before project: $1,573

Youth employment

Youth employed in 12 months before project: 1.9%

Average annual earnings in 12 months before project: $15

Demographics from MPR 18-month interim report

Preliminary Outcomes

Parent/guardian earnings

Either parent/guardian employed in month before the 18-month checkpoint

Control group

59 percent

Treatment group

59.5 percent

Earnings in month before the 18-month checkpoint

Control group


Treatment group


Parents/guardians received any support in the first 18 months

Control goup

29.3 percent

Treatment group

48 percent

Youth earnings

Youth had any earnings in year before the 18-month checkpoint

Control group

17.1 percent

Treatment group

21.4 percent

Earnings in year before 18-month checkpoint

Control group


Treatment group


Youth received any transition services in the first 18 months

Control group

88.5 percent

Treatment group

96.8 percent

Preliminary outcomes for participants who completed the 18-month survey from MPR 18-month interim report

Unique features

  • The breadth and reach of the project required the management of many cooperative agreements across agencies, organizations, and states
  • There were 49 Native American Reservations across the six consortium states; ASPIRE formed relationships with tribes and ultimately were given approval to provide services to youth in 11 tribes
  • Relationships with provider partners were managed through interagency agreements, memoranda of understanding, and contracts
  • ASPIRE executed 58 contracts for implementation, including partnerships with Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), workforce agencies, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and other non-government organizations.


  • Colorado Department of Human Services, ­Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • North Dakota Center for Persons with ­Disabilities, Minot State University
  • Utah State Office of Rehabilitation
  • South Dakota Department of Human Services
  • Montana Department of Public Health and ­Human Services
  • Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith, and Families