The illustration below is from the Common Data Set of one of the most selective colleges in the United States in which the college identifies 7 areas as “Very Important” during the application review process. Even when students meet the academic standards, their activities, talents, and personal qualities distinguish them from other academically accomplished applicants.
Our Emerging Middle School Leaders program engages middle school students in our 3 pillars of scholarship, leadership, and service within the context of their gifts, talents, interests, personality, and temperament. By so doing, years from now, as high school seniors, students will not only match the academic achievement of other college applicants, but will further distinguish themselves by having engaged in activities, developed their talents, and developed the character and personal qualities of a leader throughout their high school experience.
Online Curriculum: Students will have 24/7 access to our Emerging Middle School Leaders online curriculum to complete lessons, at their own pace, between meetings in preparation for the monthly small group discussions. These lessons will begin with a focus on self, by raising such questions as, “Who am I? What are my gifts and talents? What is my personality? What is my temperament? What is my learning style? What is my mindset? How gritty am I?” The lessons evolve to engage students in answering such questions as, “Where can I best lead? What type of people can I best collaborate? Where can I apply my gifts and talents to make a difference in my school and community?”
Guest Speakers: College admissions officers, college students, high school students, business, and political leaders will be among those invited to our monthly speaker series to provide insight into the leadership qualities that get noticed during the college admissions process and how individuals have developed into community, campus, political, and business leaders.
College Adviser: Students will have a college adviser to provide additional insight into leadership from both a high school and college perspective.
Discussion Group Leaders: High school students who have already proven themselves as youth leaders will assist in facilitating small group discussions where every student has a voice and receives encouragement.
Student-driven: Participating students will have a voice in identifying issues for which they want to advocate, guest speakers from whom they want to hear, or projects that they would like to implement in the schools and communities.
Project-based: Participating students will develop by-laws, a code of conduct, and a set of core values to ensure that every student has a voice and that every student has the opportunity to contribute their gifts. Students will decide on a leadership project designed to have a community impact in which they can develop their leadership skills and contribute their gifts.
Jocelyne (one of the students featured in the following video), was first introduced to our program as a rising 6th grade participant in our summer college planning boot camp for middle school students. Jocelyne embraced the idea of owning the college planning process and has been intentional in her leadership development. She served as the president of the National Junior Honor Society in the 8th grade; served as the president of our youth leadership board; freshman class president; and co-vice president of the Asian Student Association in the 9th grade; and as a high school sophomore is currently serving in her second year as the president of our youth leadership board and has been elected sophomore class president at St. Petersburg High School (FL).
Jocelyne, and our other high school advisers, provide invaluable insight and guidance for middle school students to lean in to leadership in natural and unforced ways based on each student’s passions and aspirations.
Are you interested?
The Emerging Middle School Leaders Program is a small cohort of students interested in pursuing our 3 pillars of Scholarship, Leadership, and Service within a college planning context. The all-virtual meeting is held on the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 am – Noon. Students and parents participate in a large group session with cohort students in grades 9 – 12 for approximately 45 minutes. Students are then moved into a middle-school only discussion group with a college adviser and high school discussion group leader.
Over the course of the year, students work through our online curriculum, create monthly presentations of what are learning, engage in discussions with peers, and collaborate on leadership and community service projects to make a difference in their schools and communities.
There is a 2-step process for interested students:
Download and complete the Emerging Leaders Application.