We have a bold vision of student success rooted in the belief that when students experience leadership development, enrichment and learning opportunities beyond the classroom, and work-based learning opportunities, that they are best set up for college and career outcomes beyond school.
Our whole-school model of success is rooted in five core tenets:
- That all students, regardless of academic performance, deserve leadership training, personalized counseling, and work-based learning experiences.
- That long-term partnerships that extend beyond contracts lead to better student outcomes.
- That students can better identify future goals when given opportunities to rise into leadership roles in their communities.
- That ongoing support to alumni is critical to post-secondary success.
- And that schools and communities benefit when youth create local solutions to urgent issues such as environmental and climate justice, which directly contribute to student health and success.
Leadership Development & Work Based Learning
We support students to rise into their leadership potential, drive their own futures, and develop critical career experience and connections.
- Essential skills leadership development training through mentoring, workshops, trips, and activities
- Enrichment matching, to ensure that students graduate with meaningful after-school and summer program experience that nurtures their interests and expands their networks.
- Work-based learning, braiding work experience into each young person’s academic journey.
College and Career Guidance
We support students to navigate each step of the college application process, as well as provide alternative career training programs for interested students.
- College knowledge, through college trips, workshops, and group counseling.
- College guidance includes supporting test prep, essay development, networking with college alumni, and financial aid preparation.
- Individualized best-fit matching to ensure that students enroll in the college or program that best matches their interests and needs, while also ensuring the maximum financial aid. Our relationships with admissions offices and expertise in HEOP and EOP program matching are critical to our work. Our optimum counselor-to-student ratio rate is 1:40.
We support alumni to persist and complete college and to develop robust career networks early in their career journeys.
- Outreach, counseling, and community building for alumni, with a special focus on the year after high school.
- Alumni Peer Mentoring so that more experienced alumni are trained and paid to provide regular check-ins with recent grads in their regions who are in their first two years of college.
- Professional mentoring and networking to connect alumni with pivotal mentors, programs and career experience to launch and develop their careers.
Committing to the Big Picture
Our goals are ambitious: we know the impact students’ environments and communities have on their outcomes, and that’s why addressing climate justice is a critical component of our model. Through our Clean Air Green Corridor project, a demonstration project that supports youth-led community organizing to create a climate- and racial-justice initiative in their neighborhood, our students are taking the lead on mitigating climate change. They’re transforming the built environment of 182nd Street into a community hub that provides equitable access to green space without displacing community members in the process. Through this replicable model, they directly contribute to making a more healthy, verdant, and vibrant Washington Heights.