The high school graduation rate in Philadelphia, is only 61%. At University City High School Promise Academy, it is 45.5%. Roughly 25% of the students who begin high school actually go on to college, and only about 1/10th of those students go on to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in fewer than 6 years.
If more youth graduate from high school, and graduate with the access and preparation to successfully complete postsecondary education and training programs, youth will have increased access to more employment opportunities. Still, in order to achieve sustainable change that is able to also facilitate a healthy, equitable democracy, we must empower our youth to be active, critical participants in their communities.
Youth enter Leaders of Change with varying postsecondary education and career aspirations. Leaders of Change will help participants build awareness of their personal experiences in education, and the broader economic, social and political contexts that impact those experiences. Our goal is for this awareness to inspire Leaders of Change interns to pursue postsecondary education and careers that matter to them, and to use their skills and accomplishments to positively engage their communities.
Each summer, Leaders of Change staff and interns will address 2 BIG IDEAS that address 1 PROBLEM through the exploration of 5 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS – we call this the Leaders of Change (215):
2 BIG IDEAS
- Students can be change agents in their community.
- Knowing myself and my goals (including college and career) will help me become an effective change agent.
Youth are not encouraged to be change agents within their community.
5 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
- Who am I?
- Where am I going?
- How am I going to get there?
- What communities am I part of?
- How can I be an effective change agent within those communities?
GOALS AND OUTCOMES
The Student Success Center offers Leaders of Change interns different experiences each summer to pursue the same 3 primary goals. While no summer is ever the same, our goals never change.
GOAL #1: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
LoC interns will be able to explore their community’s strengths and needs through neighborhood mapping, surveys, focus groups, and interviews, in order to produce an outcome that contributes to their community by addressing one (or more) of the needs interns identify.
WHAT WE’LL DO: Neighborhood maps, surveys, interviews, data analysis, and a presentation in a public forum
GOAL #2: EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
LoC interns will be able to reflect on their academic history and trajectory, explore potential career options, and learn about the connection between postsecondary education and their personal career aspirations.
WHAT WE’LL DO: An individual preliminary postsecondary plan
GOAL #3: 21st CENTURY SKILLS:
LoC interns will demonstrate growth in the 21st century skills (teamwork/collaboration, professionalism/work ethic, openness to feedback/supervision, and oral communication) in order to successfully navigate diverse personal, educational, and professional environments.
WHAT WE’LL DO: Employee evaluations, self-evaluations, reflections
LEADERS OF CHANGE, 2011: SOCIAL and EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Click here to see what our scholars accomplished during Leaders of Change 2011.
LEADERS OF CHANGE, 2012: BREAKING BARRIERS
Please download the description of our Leaders of Change program in 2012 by clicking on this link: Leaders of Change, 2012: Breaking Barriers