UNL Launches In-School Academy at Meadowcreek HS

Last week, we launched our first ever in-school Leadership Academy model at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, GA. We kicked off the Academy launch by inviting new students and parents to an inspiring orientation night at the school. These 9th through 12th grade students entered the program through two Powered by Service trainings at the end of last year and the beginning of the 2015 school year. Each student received a local leadership certification backed by Emory Goizueta Business School. Following the trainings, guidance counselors and administrators selected 25 students from each grade level to become New Look Leadership Academy students based on their potential and desire to achieve better futures. They will be meeting twice a month for in-house curriculum sessions with the UNL peer trainers, who are college students and alums who have completed our program.  We can’t wait to see The New Look Effect take over Meadowcreek High School! By having UNL students who are set apart and seen as the top  leaders within their school, they will become the influencers of culture. We know their presence within Meadowcrek will enrich the school on a daily basis with a cool new energy and perception towards education, learning and change. Positive peer-pressure!

Why the Meadowcreek/UNL Partnership?

When we heard about Meadowcreek High School right in the backyard of our former office in Gwinnett County, GA, we knew we had to partner and join forces. 85% of students who attend Meadowcreek High School are of low socioeconomic status, and only about 50 percent of low-income students graduate high school. Furthermore, statistics show that only 29 percent of low-income students will enroll in college by age 19. Of those, only 32 percent will graduate by age 25 with a bachelor’s degree. Meadowcreek is changing the game through their new innovative school partnership model, Meadowcreek U, and Usher’s New Look is one of many innovative programs to  launch within the school to help make the four-year high school education experience more relevant!

“Meadowcreek U are schools within a school focused on the inspirational experience of learning through doing as our students create and lead businesses within the community,” said Meadowcreek Assistant Principal, LaShawn Smith. “Meadowcreek U provides opportunity for our students, parents and the community to collaborate. The purpose of this collaboration is to create a knowledge base by joining multiple perspectives to ensure high student achievement, character development and leadership opportunities.”

A Highlight from Orientation

UNL C.O.O, Gavin McGuire, had each of the students stand up and tell the room what career they will do when they grow up… Then this happened https://www.facebook.com/ushersnewlookfoundation/videos/943924302313735/

Check out the photo gallery below and thank you to our New Look ‘Four Pillars’ guest speakers:


Mohamed Massaquoi, UGA Grad and Former NFL Player for the Cleveland Browns, spoke on how he followed his passion despite the odds and injuries he faced along the way. Today, Mohamed is co-founder of a start up App called Prizm.

2015-Meadowcreek Academy Orientation-Mohammed (5)


Penny Nyokabi, a UNL Alum and 2015 graduate of Georgia State with her Masters in Taxation, spoke on how UNL helped guide her through her education and introduced her to opportunities and internships that led her to her new career in finance at PWC.

2015-Meadowcreek Academy Orientation-Penny Nyokabi (23)


Marjorie King, a consultant at Accenture & Founder of her own nonprofit mentoring group called The Winner’s Circle spoke to the students on how to connect their passions to a career pathway they love.

2015-Meadowcreek Academy Orientation- Marjorie Remi TWC (5)


Vanecia Thompson, UNL alum & Mogul in Training Coordinator, spoke to students about her experience teaching second grade with Teach For America and how the opportunity allowed her to connect her talent, education and career with giving back!

2015-Meadowcreek Academy Orientation-Vanecia (7)