Photos by Thomas Springer (@FeetsMccoy)
Since 2009, the Georgia Power Foundation and Southern Company Foundation, under the leadership of Michael Anderson, have supported Usher’s New Look leadership programs for underserved youth in the state of Georgia. With two of the foundations’ top areas of charitable focus being education improvement and arts and culture, we found great synergy as partners. Over the years, Georgia Power has supported our programs as a major sponsor of our signature event, hosted STEM career workshops for UNL’s high school Leadership Academy students, and most recently sponsored Powered by Service local leadership trainings for two Atlanta Public High Schools, Washington and Maynard Jackson. Read about those trainings below!
Washington High School
On May 19, 2016, Program Strategy Manager & Alum, James Harris, Atlanta Coordinator & Alum, Tommy Springer and UNL Alum, Kamera Cobb facilitated a Powered by Service (PBS) for sixty-five ninth and tenth grade students. The training was hosted at Booker T. Washington School. Students engaged in several aspects of the PBS training. They began the training with Networking 101. The groups learned and practiced the basic elements of networking while participating in an interactive ice-breaker. Students were also exposed to Exploding the Issue. They divided into groups to work collaboratively on identifying an issue plaguing their community, then discussed the effects and root causes. As a confidence building exercise, several students participated in ‘Expressions’ by performing their “SPARK” in front of the group, which included dancing, reciting monologues and rapping . The students’ energy and excitement for New Look was undeniable! It was clear from their feedback that the peer-to-peer delivery style was their favorite element.
Kiara, a ninth grade student, especially enjoyed the leadership training because she said,
“The trainers can relate to us so they can actually help.”
Akilah, a tenth grade student, said,
“The trainers are just like us. They understand.”
Other students, like Darius, a ninth grade student, found the best take away was being empowered to create change,
“I liked Exploding the Issue and chopping down trees of issues,” said Darius.
Simultaneously on May 19, 2016, Milwaukee Coordinator, Percy Eddie, Academy Curriculum Facilitator & Alum, Brandon Hamilton, Administrative Assistant & Alum, Marvin Logan, and Moguls in Training, Brenda Khor, Maryka Carter, and Terez Chapman, facilitated a Powered by Service for 100 ninth and tenth grade students at Maynard Jackson High School.
The day started with students entering the auditorium to their favorite music and UNL’s energized trainers ready to kick the day off right! Brandon Hamilton opened the training by sharing New Look’s story and purpose. Later, the students and trainers shared their own talents by having an “Expressions” session. After Expressions, the students broke out into their groups and departed to their respective rooms to begin the leadership training modules.
The remainder of the training flowed smoothly as each room facilitated the Powered By Service workshops, covering Leadership, Personal Branding, Networking, and Solving Community Issues. They ended the day with a group photo and recap of the day’s events. The faculty and staff were delighted to have New Look present at their school, leaving the peer trainers feeling empowered and accomplished.
Feedback from our Sponsor, Georgia Power
“It’s very encouraging and rewarding knowing that our gift could have such a broad impact on our kids in the APS. I appreciate you both allowing me the chance to observe the sessions at Maynard Jackson High School. It was good to see how intentional and personable your facilitators were in connecting with the kids.” -Chris McCrary, Community Development Project Manager, Georgia Power