The UNL Leadership Academy (High School)
-The National Leadership Certification-
Why Do We Do It?
One of the primary missions of high school in this modern time is to prepare its students for college and career. Preparing students to compete in a global, information-based economy is the impetus behind this mission. Students must be equipped with 21st Century Skills in order to have a chance to succeed. Much of the research says that only close to half of graduates are prepared to succeed in college. This amount decreases when it comes to minority groups and students from lower income families. As academic requirements become even more rigorous for high schools, the focus on skills necessary to succeed such as communication, collaboration, and leadership Is diminished.
What Do We Do?
A four-year program experience that exposes high school students to the tools and skill sets necessary to achieve success in their post-secondary education option and career industry that aligns with their passion. Each year, the students are engaged in meaningful experiences through UNL’s curriculum and strategic opportunities. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience each of UNL’s four pillars: Talent, Education, Career and Service. Students prepare for the SAT/ACT, learn how to write successful college applications, navigate the financial aid process, and make plans for college visits and interviews. Corporate sponsors and community volunteers introduce them to a variety of careers through “motivational minute” presentations and job-shadowing opportunities. Through our peer-to-peer training model, youth explore their “spark”, develop leadership skills, mentor younger students and spearhead service projects in their communities.
How Do We Do It?
Academy participants attend Leadership Academy students participate in sessions in one of two models:
- In school model- Youth participate in the Leadership Academy during a one or two hour block during the school day 1-2 times per month facilitated by a certified Leadership Academy Liaison. Youth also join other New Look students one time per month on the campus of Emory University for a joint Leadership session.
- City-wide model- Youth participate in the Leadership Academy four hours per month during out of school time. Sessions take place at the UNL Headquarters and on the campus of Emory University.
During each year participate in activities related to each pillar.
4 Years, 4 Pillars of Focus
- 9th grade (Talent)- Youth personally assess their “sparks” or talent and engage in activities that allow them to develop, share and understand how talent can be used in education, career and to benefit the community.
- 10th Grade (Education) – Youth are provided with an in-depth look at the power of education and its use as a vehicle to success. They are equipped with tools that assist in goal setting and navigating the post-secondary education process.
- 11th Grade (Career)- Youth participate in a variety of engaging activities that allow them to acquire job-readiness skills. Opportunities are provided to apply the sills obtained in real world experiences including job shadowing, resume preparation and job interviews.
- 12th Grade (Service)- Youth expand their perspective on philanthropy and service through research, interaction with service leaders and organizing and implementing service projects.
Academy students also attend four “Spark Days” that provide an extended and meaningful experience based upon each of the four pillars: Talent, Education, Career and Service.
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