Graduating from high school requires more than just good grades.
It requires self-confidence to believe you can get there. It requires resilience to face and overcome challenges. And it requires empathy to build relationships with others and to see beyond your own perspective.
What is the Youth Leadership Program (YLP)?
We partner with schools and after-school organizations in the Greater Boston Area to run semester-long YLPs with elementary and middle school-aged students. Each YLP is co-led by one of our full-time Program Directors. Outside of assisting with the YLP sessions themselves, Program Directors collaborate with our partners to provide social-emotional development support during the school day, cultivating a culture of empathy and understanding that is echoed in our core values.
Students spend the majority of our time together during the YLP designing Action Plans describing how they would like to use $1,000 to make a difference locally. Each session in our curriculum gives students the chance to learn a hard or soft entrepreneurial skill, participate in an activity that practices that skill, and then apply the entrepreneurial concept to their own Action Plans. Students pitch their ideas to the class, vote, and ultimately select one Action Plan to see through into fruition.
Three areas of focus
The sessions in our curriculum are carefully curated by experts in the fields of education, child psychology, and entrepreneurial studies to increase student self-confidence, improve public speaking skills, and engage leaders in an customized social impact experience. Take a look at our curriculum overview.
Many schools incorporate service learning into their academic culture. Part of our mission is to become experts in this field of civic engagement. We are selective about the schools and after school organizations that we work with. Once chosen, each partner is assigned a Program Director from our office who attends 100% of the sessions and works outside of each session to further enrich the program experience.
During One Bead, I became more aware of issues happening in the world.
I am proud of the way my class is making a difference in the community with $1,000, even if the idea was not mine.
I feel more confident in my strengths and know how to use my network web to find people who can help me with things that are challenging.
*Data collected during Fall 2017 programming
Programming with Purpose
We care about each child. A lot. We partner with Harvard's PEAR Institute to administer their Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) to each of our students prior to programming. The HSA results give us an individualized portrait of each child we work with, allowing us to customize our curriculum based on their needs. We dedicate specific time within program sessions to 1:1 meetings between instructors and students. This adds a mentorship component to our work that is built on trust and open communication. Our hope is to stay connected with every student we work with long after our program is over. We nominate a certain number of students each year to speak at TEDxBeaconStreet.
Our students are changing the world.
Students spend the majority of our program designing Action Plans describing how they would like to use $1,000 to make a difference locally. Two thirds of the way through programming, students pitch their ideas to the class. The group votes to select the winning idea and the entire class comes together to see that idea through into fruition. Our students and the community they live in are better off as a result.