Developing the Positive Power of Youth
It’s been 28 years of training our Super Leaders and watching them absorb the information given to them and observing their growth. We just finished the 2013 school year and we are into summer programs as well as preparing the graduating seniors for college and other careers. These life -changing experiences could not be possible without the support of our Board of Directors and a dedicated staff. They make a difference every day. This year we had 350 students in 6 high schools and 1 middle school. The enrollment was down due to school closings and redistribution of students to other schools without a Super Leaders program.
The end of the year is special because we see the progress our Super Leaders have made. As mentioned, this year we trained 350 Super Leaders. We had 3 retreats that impacted 270 Super Leaders. During this school winding- down period, it’s interesting to see the confidence and anticipation of our students ready to take the next step in their journeys. There are tears and laughter at the same time.
This year we had 60 graduating seniors! Come August, 45 of these seniors will be leaving to attend the various colleges across the country. We have 7 Super Leaders entering into the military. We have 8 Super Leaders finishing up in summer school who will be entering a community college or obtaining gainful employment this fall. We had 6 Super Leaders from Anacostia and 8 from Ballou who won $50,000 Academic or High Achievers scholarship awards from the Bill Gates Scholarship Foundation. Ten Super Leaders won Science and Athletic scholarships to Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Bennett College and Montgomery College. Want to put a smile on your face? Remember Michael Burrell, the homeless student from Ballou and President of his class. He won a scholarship to Marshall University. Tyrell Coleman, at midyear wanted to drop out of school, but due to the encouragement of Warren Bischoff, our Vice President, he returned to school and will be entering UDC this fall.
Our SAT scores this year ranged from 950 to 1450. We are going to work on improving that number through additional tutoring. The highest SAT for a Super Leader has been 1650 from last year. This student is enrolled at VCU where he was able to carry 22 credits with him in his freshman year. We had a few of our 2012 Super Leaders return home and volunteered to help mentor our younger Super Leaders in a summer pilot program we are doing for the District of Columbia. They are preaching one of our mottos of “Relying upon Yourself and the Resources at Your Disposal”. This is a survival tool they use when they become frustrated and feel there is no support system to rely on.
We have a partnership with Howard University focusing on “Life Skills” training and mentoring. The program teaches the students to expect to succeed in whatever they do. There is a social media component where Super Leaders tape their presentations and then evaluate themselves to see how they can improve. It’s helped with their leadership and speaking.
The “Early Warning System” developed by our advisor, Frank Young, 13 years ago continues to be an important element of our program. It allows advisors and Super Leader captains to check on the status of our students’ progress and school attendance. Frank has been with the program 24 years.
Some of the Super Leaders activities this year included trips to museums, college visits to Howard University, University of Maryland, Virginia State University, Temple and Coppin State University, Hershey Park and Baltimore Harbor. Our Super Leaders participated in the “Beautification in the Parks projects” picking up trash and planting. They attended DC Arts and Humanities Seminars, Redskin pre-games, summer jobs workshops planning and health fairs. They attended Green Life Chiropractic & Wellness Community Wellness Day in Annapolis, Maryland. RBC teamed up with Super Leaders at Eastern Senior High School for a beautification day that won Eastern a $1,000 donation which will be presented to Eastern in September.
When asked why Super Leaders exceed the norms in their respective schools, we continually get the same answers from their principals, advisors and teachers: they spend considerable time in study halls and libraries researching scholarship opportunities, improving writing skills, researching job opportunities, improving social media skills, and taking advantage of the Kahn Academy offerings which include helping them prepare for their SAT exams. One thing holds true for all Super Leaders without exception, they all cannot wait to attend a retreat and they never want to leave when the retreat ends. This is all about providing our students with the exposure to dream.
None of this could be possible without the help of our partners. They make the difference and to them we express our heartfelt thanks!
We are the surrogate family for our Super Leader kids that lifts them up out of poverty and gives them hope, and a map for life.
Please, never stop helping our kids, in any way you can. You make a world of difference!
XOXO Frankie Crosby