Encouraging Student Leaders in Far Northeast Denver

This month Young Adults for Positive Action was given the opportunity to meet with student leaders at High Tech Early College, P.U.S.H. Academy, and Collegiate Prep Academy who had attended the “Planting the Seed” Youth Summit on Friday, January 16, 2015. These leadership gatherings acted as a follow-up to the action steps listed from the Youth Summit, and our commitment to all students within the Far Northeast and Denver Metro Community.

Young Adults for Positive Action wishes to ensure that the programs and services offered are able to align with the needs of students and families. Additionally, Young Adults for Positive Action continues to refine existing services so that we are able to better improve program quality and long-term sustainability.

As a result of our meetings, Young Adults for Positive Action is able to gather more information about the real-world needs of the students. Each student clearly expressed their successes in the last month, while also articulating their needs in order to excel in the school and community. Students were looking for more than just summer jobs; they wanted work that would fit into their career pathway. They sought more than just study help; rather, they were seeking ways to achieve beyond their normal curriculum. Student leaders wished for more community service opportunities and ways that the schools regularly come together on a regional basis to celebrate their neighborhood.

Here are just a few ways student leaders will be connecting with YAPA over the next few months in order to inspire change in the way we serve youth:

  • Healthy living for students should be encouraged as a team, school, and community effort
  • AP classes should be supported year-round and in the summer. They should be meaningful and accessible and connected to school-community effort
  • More challenging opportunities in classes that are geared towards individual interests and career pathways
  • Dialogues in school and the community in order to have meaningful cultural engagement and celebration
  • Ongoing scholarship consultations that involve completion and check-ins pertinent to college acceptance; help with college application essays
  • Specific summer support for job readiness, career pathways, workforce development, internships, and externships
  • Safe place for students to gather before, during and after school, weekends, and summer
  • Music/artistic advancement for strings and instruments (students suggest that much of their artistic influence ended after 4th grade), as well as other artistic/cultural opportunities
  • Encouraging students to lead school and community effort – connecting with other schools to support one another – positive recognition and branding for their schools
  • Positive dialogue and communication with teachers, school staff, adults and mentors

These student check-ins will continue throughout the year on a monthly basis, continuing into the 2015-2016 school year.