Hey guys. Long time, no write. That’s probably my fault, though. But the computer writes both ways! No? Alright.
Now that I’m officially Vista-ing I’d love to take the opportunity to thoroughly explain the project we’re working on in 🙂 full 🙂 detail 🙂
Background refresher: Vista stands for Volunteers in Service to America.
I am working through Siena College.
And also with a local high school.
With some amazing undergrad students & a few amazing mentors.
Got it? Cool – let’s continue.
The name of our program is the Holistic Education Leadership Program (HELP). And right now, we are in Phase One.
Our goal is to establish a Leadership Program at the all-girls high school in order to focus on academic, professional and personal growth for the girls. The Siena students we have as tutors will filter into classrooms to provide in school and after school support.
Instead of focusing strictly on increasing grades, we are focusing on increasing the girls’ leadership skills, such as self-advocacy, confidence, accountability, and empowerment, and college and career readiness – study skills, communication with the personal self, as well as academic and professional communication. PLENTY of research to come (s/o Serena).
We intend to accomplish this through a partnership with Albany’s Holistic Youth Project, which provides mindfulness practices to youth around the Capital Region. As a team, we will try to provide an atmosphere of empowerment, self-love, and conscientiousness.
Our writing tutors and education majors will be at the high school about 4 times a week – to provide help in academic areas, but also to build relationships with the girls. Eventually, we hope to see a self-sustaining program that includes a Mindfulness Center, a Writing Center, among other places that will produce a calm, bettering environment for these young girls.
Implementing a program that provides a space for students to express their challenges and helps them to find the strength within themselves to overcome them is, I believe, one of the best ways to develop teenagers into positive members of society. It is something every single one of us could benefit from and I feel super lucky to be a part of that growth for these girls.
Education is one of the most important parts of our society, and unfortunately many systems provide a negative connotation for the American education system. Imagine what it would be like for students to want to go to school. To want to learn. To take ownership of what they produce instead of scribbling it quickly before homeroom. Imagine a generation of entrepreneurs, artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and nurses – that rose from a generation of learners that were excited, curious, inquisitive, and confident.That’s what we need. And it begins with schools, K-12, having a climate of security, respect, and engagement.
Now I’m not saying that we are going to accomplish all, or maybe even any, of this. But we have an amazingly dedicated team who can see the benefits of holistic education & leadership. And that is a good enough start.
Over the course of the next year, as with any partnerships, there will probably be some setbacks, some challenges, and some difficult days. But I cannot wait to see all that we learn this year.
P.S If you are Siena student that wants to get involved with HELP – tutoring, cultivating curriculum, programming, etc. – You probably know how to get a hold of me 😉