‘New Look takes over New York with Powered by Service!’ by Careshia Moore, National Program Manager

Usher’s New Look recently took over six schools in the Brooklyn area and certified 200 students with our Powered by Service day-long leadership curriculum! Check out the recaps and quotes from each school below!

December 2, 2014

Park Slope Middle School

Park Place Community School


On December 2, 2014, Program Strategy Manager, James Harris, Atlanta Coordinator, Tommy Springer and MIT, Larnell Ellison facilitated a Powered by Service for 27 eighth grade students. The training was hosted Park Slope Middle School but consisted of students from both Park Slope Middle and Park Place Community School.  Students engaged in several aspects of the PBS training.  They began the training with Networking 101.  The group 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 groups to work collaboratively on identifying an issue plaguing their community, discuss the effects and list the root causes.

Several students also participated in Expressions by dancing, reciting monologues and rapping.  The students’ energy and excitement for New Look was undeniable.  They are excited for the complete training to take place in February.  The principal of Park Place Community School, Glenda Esperance of Parent Coordinator of Park Slope Middle, Jessica Collins are both excited to have their students continue in the New Look program.  In fact they have discussed creating a New Look Club so that the students can continue to develop comroderie and to capitalize on the energy from the training.



Kiara Mazariegos, eighth grade student, P.S. 266
“The trainers can relate to us and are very inspiring an supportive. I am looking forward to future participation.”


Akilah Williams, eighth grade student, P.S. 282

“The trainers are just like us.  They came here and expressed to us what they offer.  They drew us in.  I like that they offer kids like us opportunities.”


Nathaniel Higgins, eighth grade student, P.S. 282

“I enjoyed Exploding the Issue and the idea of fighting the root of issues.”


December 4, 2014

Susan S. McKinney High School

On December 3, 2014, the PBS training team facilitated a Powered by Service training for 56 ninth and tenth grade students at Susan S. McKinney High School. This Brooklyn High school is a school that concentrates on the arts and students choose an area of focus such as vocal, instruments, theater, dance or visual arts.  The students entered the training with great energy and were extremely receptive to the curriculum.  Students shared their talent in expressions and were participatory over all.

The training team presented the PBS curriculum in six hours and the students were engaged and attentive.  They contributed meaningful comments and participated in discourse about leadership, branding and issues that plague the community. They also learned the basics of networking.  The students fostered a great relationship with the trainers and thoroughly enjoyed the training.  We conducted group interviews following the training. The students were very eager to participate in the Leadership Academy in the fall.


Chykeem Nichols, ninth grade

“I learned if you want to achieve things in life you have to come out of your comfort zone.”


Brianne Wheeler, ninth grade

“This training gave me life. I can be comfortable, free and happy.”


Israel Perez, ninth grade

“A small change has come over me.”


Alton Gail, ninth grade

“Today was very inspirational for me.”


December 4, 2014

Academy for Young Writers

Trainers facilitated a four-hour Powered by Service training to approximately 60 students at Academy for Young Writers, a theme school that focuses on writing.  The students received training in the areas of networking, leadership, branding and exploding the issue.  Several students also participated in expressions.

One of our student trainers, Larnell Ellison, even had the opportunity to attend chess class with one of the students.

The training teams returned to the school on December 5th to interview approximately 25 students for the Leadership Academy.

Gateway Intermediate School

Trainers facilitated a two-hour introductory Powered by Service training to approximately 20 students. The students participated in Networking, Expressions , and Leadership 101.  The eighth grade students were very receptive and excited to participate in the training.

Three parents observed the training along with several administrators.  The training team was so impressed with the maturity and engagement of the group that we have committed to provide mini-training sessions for the group prior to the complete Powered by Service training.

December 5, 2014

Bedford Academy

The training team trained a group of 31 ninth and tenth grade students from Bedford Academy at the Bedford YMCA.  The students were engaging and really enjoyed the two hour training.  The students were especially engaged in the Leadership 101 discourse.

MIT, Jeremy Dominguez also attended the training, shared with the students on community service and social justice causes he is involved in and facilitated Exploding the Issue.

The training team will interview the students via a web-based platform during the week of 12/15.