UNL Trains 270 Students in New York Powered by Service!

Written by UNL New York 11th grade Youth Leaders, Sierra Boyd and Nyya Collins

Photo Credit: Thomas Springer (@FeetsMccoy)

Day 1 Recap by Sierra Boyd, 11th grade trainer

On Wednesday, May 11th through Friday, May 13, 2016, the Usher’s New Look peer-to-peer trainer team took over Brooklyn, NY with two Powered By Service leadership trainings! We kicked it off on Wednesday with nine high school and college trainers from UNL Atlanta, along with myself and fourteen others from UNL New York, facilitating a Powered By Service training for one hundred and fifty freshman and sophomore students at the School for Human Rights. (A school we partnered with earlier this year for a surprise visit from Usher and Get Schooled).

2016-NY PBS May (7)

The students although shy, were immediately engaged with the training. They were great listeners, and when one of their peers would volunteer, they were very supportive. While many of the students weren’t keen on participating in Expressions, an exercise where students share their SPARK (what we call talent), they were very vocal once broken out into groups for the leadership training modules.

2016-NY PBS May (8)

The students enjoyed Exploding the Issue, a UNL activity where we map out tree diagrams with the students in order to identify root solutions to issues affecting their community. They also loved learning the rights and wrongs of networking during Networking 101. During the Leadership 101 module, the students explored the difference between a good leader and a leader who advocates for the greater good. The trainers and the students respected and enjoyed this new experience with each other. The students were very impressed with the fun and the efficiency of the trainers while still maintaining the mutual enthusiasm and appreciation.

2016-NY PBS May (4)


Brandon, a 9th grader, told us,

“I feel like I learned so many new things. I had so much fun!”

Christina, a 10th grader, enjoyed the lesson called Branding 101 and said,

“Now I want to change some things on my social media.”

2016-NY PBS May (9)

Day 2 Recap by Nyya Collins, 11th grade Trainer

On Friday May 13, 2016 at City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, the site of our New York Leadership Academy meetings, we trained 130 students!  Since it was my second time training for Powered by Service, I wasn’t nervous. First, we played games and ice breakers with the students to set the flow and get the energy going. It was early in the morning, so the students and their energy was kind of drained. Before the kids went to separate groups, we played energetic music to keep them awake and focused. As the day went by, the attention started to increase in a positive way. They were listening and participating, as if they wanted to join New Look that same day! They were quickly able to recognize the essentials and importance of our modules in Networking, Branding, Exploding The Issue, and applied it to their own lives.

2016-NY PBS May (10)

It takes self-discipline and determination to be a leader. That’s what the Powered by Service training is all about, and now, with even more confidence, they are certified and ready to make a greater impact.

2016-NY PBS May (2)

Judley, a 10th grader, said,

“The training was everything I needed. Exploding the Issue was my favorite part.”

2016-NY PBS May (3)

Samira, a 10th grader, made us feel awesome when she said,

“I wish this happened everyday. It was so fun!”

2016-NY PBS May (5)

Read more about our Powered by Service Curriculum, backed by Emory University here.

Shout Out to Our Training Team! Great work.

  • Kamera Cobb, UNL Alum
  • Jasmine Elliott, MIT
  • Larnell Ellison, MIT
  • Brandon Hamilton, UNL Alum
  • Dante Hollis, MIT
  • Alexus Mitchell, MIT
  • Jasmine Pollard, MIT
  • Tommy Springer, UNL Alum
New York
  • Shanice Andall, 11th grade
  • Apple Badal, 11th grade
  • Sierra Boyd, 11th grade
  • Maryka Carter, MIT
  • Nyya Collins, 11th grade
  • Honesty Howell, 10th grade
  • Tashema Lee, 10th grade
  • Malik Manmohan, 12th grade
  • Chykeem Nichols, 10th grade
  • Kayah Phillip, 11th grade
  • Shyneise Sutherland, 10th grade
  • Brianne Wheeler, 11th grade
  • Mameanta Wade, 11th grade
  • Akila Waller, 10th grade
  • Monique Willoughby, 11th grade