Developing the Positive Power of Youth
Our last retreat was filled with excitement as 89 students completed the training and heard encouraging remarks from board members and special guests. One special guest, Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, told the students how she overcame obstacles in life to succeed and that they can do the same. She also expressed how proud she was of them as did Vice Chairman Warren Bischoff. As usual, the Chairman laid out his expectations of them and expressed his gratitude for the efforts they are making to study hard and succeed in the face of adversity. As usual, before they boarded the buses to return home they asked when Mr. Owens would visit them at their schools. Board member Amanda Viragh received a standing ovation for her many contributions to Super Leaders. She has a really special bond with the students.
The advisors are busy, but they always find time to assist us in tracking student progress and helping to prepare our seniors to graduate and get ready for college or employment. We are expecting excellent results because we have been closely monitoring student progress and providing tutorial assistance to, as needed. We are primarily judging student progress on the basis of drastic ally improved SAT scores. Six of our students are in the Washington Post 500 Honors Club. These students earned A’s and B’s the first semester and they are maintaining the same GPA throughout the semester. We expect to have at least 3 Super Leaders awarded $50,000 Bill Gates scholarships. Several other students will receive scholarships ranging from $500 to $10,000, as well. Some of these same students would have been considered the most unlikely to receive financial awards before they joined Super Leaders.
Under the leadership of Eastern advisor, Mrs. Bradshaw, we have started a Super Leaders Book Club. Here, club members invite authors to speak at their discussion meetings and at school-wide assembles. Super Leader Students are encouraged to read the book before the author arrives to encourage better communication.
Kudos to RBC for adopting 3 schools over the holidays. Families received items from food and clothing to educational toys. The recipients expressed their heartfelt gratitude for this recognition. Speaking of RBC, our advisors and students appreciate all RBC has contributed from scholarships to sponsoring retreats.
Recently, students from Dominion High School in Loudon County and Anacostia High School designed a Super Leaders BULLYING SESSION which has been considered professional enough to be replicated in 3 high schools and on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia. We have been working closely with UDC in a partnership to obtain a grant. UDC is also sponsoring a day on CAMPUS for Super Leaders in an effort to attract some of our students to register for classes at their Junior College.
Howard University and Super Leaders have developed a MEDIA program. The University transports the students to the campus weekly and exposes them to TV production, film making, social media, etc. According to the HU rep, at least one of our students has the possibility of winning a scholarship as a result of this partnership. Partnering with many organizations has enhanced our empowerment skills and maximizes our dollars, too.
The program involving Super Leaders seniors and juniors mentoring ninth graders has received accolades from teachers, as fewer 9th graders are dropping out of school because of the success of the program. According to our students, many 9th graders are becoming positive role models in hopes of becoming future junior Super Leader advisors. The Super Leaders official name for the program is “Under My Wings”.
Super Leaders, is also partnering with the “City Kids Wilderness Project.” This partnership affords some of them the opportunity to attend a camp in Wyoming for one week. The project was founded on the belief that providing enriching life experiences for financially challenged inner city kids can enhance their lives and inspire leadership and confidence through outdoor adventures.
The Drug Enforcement Administration hosted 30 Super Leaders at several hundred dollars a plate dinner at the Pennsylvania Avenue Marriott hotel. Our 10-year partnership with the agency has been fruitful, as several Super Leaders are currently employed with the agency as a result of having worked in the summer jobs program. Students are also invited to tour the museum from time-to-time.
On April 4, 2011 Super Leaders was congratulated for our efforts in the schools as a service provider and, as a result of this recognition our contract has been renewed for the next three years. “This allows you, the provider, access to DCPS facilities for programming, recruiting and working together to increase student achievement across the District,” according to Daniela Grigioni, Manager for External Relations, DCPS.
Our students are enrolled in many more actives such as the Nomis Youth Network where students train for the junior Olympics boxing and fitness program. They are involved in wellness activities, junior golf classes, walking for the homeless and breast cancer, plus many other causes. Most noteworthy, we are making a difference in enriching their lives. We have many success stories and are building character. While our advisors are responsible for many of our successes, we could not be the SUCCESS STORY we are without you, our board members. Thanks for all you do for Super Leaders—you are truly appreciated.
Brig Owens, Chairman
Frankie Crosby, Executive Director