Creating an opportunity for learning beyond core academics
The current structure of our education system puts sole attention on core academics. This often results in a lack of learning from a social and emotional or leadership standpoint. I created a program that aims to build leadership in students, with an emphasis on servant leadership specifically. The program is called the Garnet and Gold Leadership Summit, which is a one-day conference for students in the surrounding school district who are in middle school. We have about 50 participants take part in workshops hosted by student leaders on our college campus, learn about college readiness, complete a service learning project, and discuss their plan to make the world a better place.
As mentioned, there is not a huge emphasis on social and emotional learning within many of the schools. The creation of the Garnet and Gold Leadership Summit allows students to further their knowledge around leadership while being exposed to college. This created significant impact for my current institution because it built a level of visibility and outreach that was not present before.
Navigate partnerships with community partners and surrounding schools
Budgeting and event planning
Leadership and initiative
Many of the students had not been on a college campus and would be the first in their family to go to college if they so decide to explore that option. Providing students with essential information regarding the college readiness process and allowing an opportunity for them to tour a campus is extremely impactful because it normalizes college even more for the students. Creating access and the tools to make their dreams of college a success while teaching leadership will put each student in a position to maximize success and engagement.
From this experience, I gained a lot of understanding from the student perspective as to what components they feel as though they are missing in regards to being prepared for college. From the discussions I gathered that students aren’t aware as to the steps they should be taking prior to the senior year of high school to ensure they are prepared for college. Within my role, I created a college and career readiness planning timeline sheet that provides students with some items or checkpoints to consider from 8th-12th grade. You can click here to access that document. In addition, I also discovered that students aren’t being exposed to various colleges until high school unless their parents take them earlier. I created a presentation for middle school students specifically that introduces them to my institution in particular while incorporating general information that will help them best prepare for any college of their choice. I travel across the state to present to various schools and community based organizations, spreading awareness and insight. You can click here to access that presentation.