This past July, Usher’s New Look hosted an online donation contest in partnership with Chideo.com, auctioning off a chance to win a trip to our United to Ignite Awards Luncheon in Atlanta, complete with an Usher meet and greet experience. For every donation received, funds went to support UNL programming. After the contest, Chideo decided to take it a step further, presenting a matching gift that equated to the support of sponsoring a Powered by Service Leadership Training in their headquarter’s city, Dallas, TX! Thanks to Chideo making it possible, and with the help of The United Way of Dallas, on Wednesday, January 13th, twelve Usher’s New Look trainers flew to Dallas to train and certify 310 high school students in UNL’s Powered by Service leadership curriculum. The one-day training with 10th graders from Dallas Public Schools taught students how to identify their “spark” or passion, become a driving force for positive change in their community and develop a blueprint for their education and career success.
Uniting for Change!
The UNL Powered by Service training in Dallas was part of a larger initiative, the Unite for Change Community Impact Series, organized by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Texas Instruments at the University of Texas at Dallas. For this event in the series, top-performing students from eight Dallas Independent School District high schools were invited to attend and be exposed to a day of college and career advice, including the Powered by Service session hosted by Usher’s New Look and Chideo. 100 volunteers from TI, Fluor Corp., Ricker Retirement Specialists, City Year and The Princeton Review Foundation mentored students in additional breakout sessions about studying, test taking, how to leverage social media, course selection, interview skills and financial aid.
Meet The Trainers (Our Secret to Starting the Spark)
We’ve been told our peer-to-peer training style is what makes our program so unique and attractive to the students we serve. So, for this training, we flew 12 of our best and brightest trainers to Dallas, TX. For a few of the trainers, it was their first time training with UNL outside of their home city and even their first time flying on an airplane! From the moment the trainers arrived at the airport, the momentum was off to a great start. Travelling from Atlanta, were two first-time travelling trainers, high school students Melvin Taylor and Skye Moham. Accompanying them was Atlanta Program Coordinator and Videographer, Thomas Springer, Chief Ambassador of Youth, James Harris, Moguls in Training, Larnell Ellison and Tony Betton, and Program Alum, Jasmine Pollard. On a plane from Detroit, were Mogul in Trainings, Donte Hollis, Ciarah Lee and Elizabeth Williams, as well as Detroit Program Coordinator, Jarvis Brown, and his program assistant, Mogul in Training Sequoia Mitchell. Travelling from Milwaukee, was Program Coordinator, Percy Eddie, and from Brooklyn, Program Coordinator Assistant and Mogul in Training, Jeremy Dominguez.
What other education program do you know with trainers this cool??
Watch this clip of the UNL trainers on their way to “start the spark” in Dallas!
After the Spark… Reactions to UNL PBS
Check out the reactions we received from our students, parents and partners after the trainings.
“Thank you Usher’s New Look for the amazing day full of inspiration!” -Mica Benitez, 10th Grade Dallas Public Schools Student
“We came back from the Powered by Service event today and are on an UNL high! Thank you so much for coordinating this event with United Way. We were all impressed by the training, the poise and self-confidence of the trainers and the level of engagement of the participating students. Careshia and the rest of the team have been a dream to work with.” -Kate Lino, Chideo, Director of Charity Relations
“I just wanted to thank you for selecting Skye for the Dallas training. This was such a great opportunity for her as well as a surreal moment. To be able to go along with her mentors back to the city where she was born and do something so positive, was so awesome! I don’t think that she’ll ever come down from this high. Anyway, just wanted to thank you and everyone else at Usher’s New Look for this experience.” -Sherita Moham, Parent of a UNL Atlanta Peer Trainer
“My experience getting to train students in Dallas was great. It was my first time being allowed to do a national training as a 10th grade high school student. Usually this opportunity only offered to upper classmen in UNL, but through my dedication to UNL, I earned it. This was also my first time flying on an airplane and I was glad that I got to share the experience with my Usher’s New Look family. It was not as scary as people make it out to be. Overall, we had a lot of fun and touched a lot of people. The students were really engaged.” -Melvin Taylor, UNL Atlanta 10th Grader & Peer Trainer
Read more about Powered by Service Dallas in the news!