April 9, 2013

Training Future Leaders with Tomorrow’s Technology shall train approximately 72 high school students in the fundamentals of leadership; coordinate approximately 600 hours of volunteering at social and environmental organizations; and develop a new tool to help them promote and monitor behavior changes through their social networks—thereby, starting the students on a path to emerge as community leaders.

Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders is the mantra of the High School Leadership Academy (HSL Academy), which trains high school students in the essential skills of leadership—the psychology of achievement, the sensitivity of communication and the synergy of contribution— and mentors them through volunteer experiences in their communities. In twelve hours of training, lessons focus on the cutting-edge of neuro-science and communication theories. The goals are: 1) increase student’s willpower; 2) improve their focus; 3) achieve better control of their lives; and 4) handle difficult conservations on diversity issues. Afterward, students volunteer at different organizations such as with urban and outdoor nonprofits for a minimum of eight hours over eight – ten weeks. (The eight hour requirement is intended to increase motivation to volunteer more by initially lowering the reluctance to commit.) Students will post on Facebook throughout program and will meet at the end of the semester to share their reflections. Up to twenty-five students will be accepted, although future students will have to submit an application. Formative and summative analysis will be conducted on the leadership trainings specifically on the students’ posts on Facebook and on the students’ contributions to the nonprofits. By the end of program, the HSL Academy will provide students with the foundations of success, while empowering them with the experience of community engagement.

Please join us to learn more about this Innovation Grant Project as well as the potential for replicating or scaling in other areas.