UNL Trains 500 Youth in the Nation’s Capital!

 Last month, with the help of SunTrust, SunTrust Foundation, DC Public Schools and the DC Trust, Usher’s New Look took to Washington, D.C to certify nearly 500 students in our Powered by Service Leadership Curriculum. Read the blog below to hear about the trainings through the eyes of our Peer Trainers and from some of the youth who participated!

Monday! June 15,  2015

On June 15th, 2015; Program Strategy Manager, James Harris, National Program Director, Careshia Moore, Detroit Coordinator, Jarvis Brown, Atlanta Coordinator, Tommy Springer and MITs, Markeita Bratcher, Elizabeth Candy, Ciarah Lee, Kamera Cobb, Dante Hollis, Larnell Ellison, Brandon Hamilton, and Rashad Cain facilitated a Powered by Service for 120 ninth grade students. The training was hosted at Eastern High School in Washington, D.C.

All of the trainers and staff greeted the students in the school’s main auditorium at the start of the day. The trainers later paired up and split into separate classrooms for the majority of the training. Students were full of energy since this was the start to their final week of the school year. Also, what could have been a better way to start the last week of school than with an active and talent-packed leadership training?

This training and the following trainings in Washington D.C. are especially exciting because they are also a collaborative effort with the Suntrust Bank & Foundation, D.C Trust, and D.C. schools. The Suntrust staff added a financial workshop to the training session, giving students an additional lesson focusing on money management and banking. The additional assistance from the Suntrust team made this day a very successful PBS training. Students and teachers closed the day with high energy and an entertaining Expressions session. All students received new PBS t-shirts, Leadership Training Completion certificates (backed by Emory University), and other gifts from UNL trainers.

Day 1 DC

Tuesday! June 16, 2015

 On Tuesday June 16th, 2015, the UNL team facilitated a Powered by Service for approximately 170 eighth and ninth grade students. The training was hosted at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C.

The training began with all students assembling in the school’s auditorium where they were greeted by and introduced to the trainers. From there they were taught a brief history of the New Look Foundation and given an overview of the days training. The trainers then paired off and split the students into five (5) classrooms to conduct the Powered By Service trainings.

At the end of the day students and trainers returned to the auditorium to recap the days training and close out with a session of Expressions. All students received New Look swag and certificates backed by Emory!

Benjamin Banneker High School Day 2

Wednesday! June 17, 2015

On June 17th, 2015 we trained 170 ninth grade students. The trainings were hosted at Ballou Senior High School and Cardoza High School in Washington, D.C.

Half of the trainers spent the day in what some consider one of the toughest neighborhoods in southeast D.C.  Ballou High students weren’t sure what the day had in store for them, which added a little anticipation to the beginning of the day. 9th graders and a few 10th and 11th graders entered the auditorium waiting for the presentation to begin. Trainers started by introducing themselves, the New Look Foundation, and showcasing what some of their talents and passions were by rapping, singing, and reciting poems. The students got more involved as they joined in with the trainers by showcasing some talents of their own.

After the trainers broke of into groups and headed to the designated classrooms, they jumped right into the PBS training starting with Networking 101 and Branding. The remainder of the day was very educational with an included finance workshop from the Suntrust Foundation. Students, teachers, trainers, and corporate partners closed the day by taking a group shot and several selfies in the auditorium. After saying their goodbyes and exchanging contact information, the trainers prepared to head back to their respective cities feeling empowered and accomplished.

Ballou High School Day 3

Here’s what the youth had to say about PBS DC!

  • “I really loved how the trainers interacted and made sure people were involved and also helped others identify their talents and what kind of leaders they are!” –Bryanna Foman
  • “It’s important to showcase your talent because you never know whose watching.” -Zion Hines
  • “You don’t need to be famous to make an impact.” -Zion Scott
  • “You are still able to make a change in the community even if you are young.” -Kandice Johnson
  • “I feel very confident that I can go somewhere with my talents someday because of this [training].” -Carry Holmes
  • “One thing I liked about the training today was that I was able to find my personal talents and personal meaning of myself. I was also able to feel free around the trainers instead of acting different. They have showed me how to find yourself no matter how hard it is.” –Cordell Bennett
  • “What I liked about this training from today is how they taught us stuff that will benefit us in the long run.” –Marissa Garlund
  • “I learned that no matter what, to not be scared of who you are and don’t be scared/ nervous to show your talent.” –Alonzo Thompkins
  • “One thing I learned about the Usher’s program was that they help the youth make something of themselves, which makes me want to join.” –Amani Jenifer

Here’s what our Trainers had to say!

  • “PBS is an opportunity to reach out to the youth on a more personal level to help mold the next generation of leaders. Because we are closer in age we can relate to them on a level that parents and teachers cannot, it is an incredible responsibility.” -Kamera Cobb, MIT
  • “PBS is the opportunity to be able to express and share everything that I’ve learned to others in middle and high school. It is very satisfying to share my personal experiences in order to open a world of possibility in every youth. I’ve learned that when I share my story of being in the same seat and identifying with each student they get more and more confident in themselves. When one student pulled me aside and told me that she was really inspired showed me that we as facilitators are doing something more than training. We are truly changing lives one training at a time and building a village of leaders in the communities nationwide.” -Elizabeth Williams, MIT Detroit
  • “It was amazing to hear a student say that he wanted to possess a positive attitude like we do. It just reminded me that we are role models who can show them that they can achieve anything with the proper guidance, knowledge and support.” -Markeita Bratcher, MIT Milwaukee
  • “Training in the nation’s capitol put the work we do in a different perspective for me. The leadership trainings we give to the youth are not only great skills to help them succeed in their lives, but ultimately it helps lay the ground work for a positive future for our country.” -Tommy Springer, Atlanta Coordinator
  • “PBS is something that is amazing and I long for the opportunity to share  with others what they can take advantage of. I also long for that connection with someone who looks like me and is shy and wants to hide. I’m here to say it is ok and I feel I accomplished just that on this mission.” -Rashad Cain, UNL Alumni
  • “I enjoy interacting with the youth and being a role model because it gives those who never thought to take, or were even given a chance the opportunity and skill-sets to become leaders and follow their dreams.” -Brandon Hamilton, UNL Alumni
  • “Being able to open up and connect with youth on a personal level creates a long lasting bond some never had before. What we do is powerful, I am grateful for that.” -Jarvis Brown, Detroit Coordinator