The Champions of Youth program takes a holistic approach in providing a “road map for student success. Now in its eighth year, the program helps high school students address issues and transcend boundaries. This program encourages students to stretch in ways beyond those they would ordinarily experience in the traditional classroom setting. The goal is to challenge students to Assess where they are, Plan for where they want to be, and provide resources so they may Act to insure success.Crucial to the success of the Champions of Youth program is a Case Manager who is intimately familiar with the culture of the school. The Case Manager acts as overseer not only of students who are in the program, but also of the larger community in which they operate.While mentoring remains a cornerstone of Champions it is only one component of a program that provides case management, advocacy for students, tutoring, community building, health related support, and college and career counseling. For the program to be most effective, a one on one relationship with students to mentors is the most desirable. Mentors are encouraged to remain in touch with their Champion on a weekly basis and accompany them to the monthly Game Face activity.
Unique partnerships with local institutions of higher learning enrich the Champions of Youth program. A miniversity component was created in partnership with Stockton College that focuses on the development of our Champions by offering experiences outside the traditional classroom and provides opportunities that enrich each Champion’s academic experience. This is accomplished through forums conducted on the college campus that included offerings focused on academics, the arts, sport, community service, wellness, and campus life. Champions are required to attend a minimum of six events in the various focus areas to earn a miniversity Certificate from Stockton College.
Through a Champions school-to-school initiative, Atlantic City High School seniors can elect to enroll at Atlantic Cape Community College and earn a maximum of twelve college credits that may be applied toward a degree program.
Community Service is yet another essential component of Champions found to be influential in advancing personal and academic success. This has developed from the belief that by volunteering, students gain a type of growth not found anywhere else. With so many opportunities available to contribute to community, our youth may discover something that could not only change their life, but also the life of another.
Additionally, Champions is broadening its career education to include outreach to the professional and business community. Emphasis will be placed on career awareness, team building, decision-making, and problem solving.
To examine student success, an incentive point system was established whereby points are awarded to each aspect of the program. Champions earning the requisite incentive points are eligible to participate in the annual “Trip to Remember.” Champions who have earned the required 6,500 incentive points have participated in life-changing trips to New York, California, New England, Canada, and Paris
HELP CHANGE LIVES - BE A MENTOR
- Supports students with a case manager
- Provides a valuable relationship with mentors
- Promotes character education
- Broadens life skills
- Challenges students thinking and decision making
- Exposes students to diverse cultural experiences
- Offers after school tutoring & academic assistance
- Examines conflict resolution skills
- Advances career and college education
- Provides a partnership with local colleges
- Encourages community service
- Expects all students to actualize their potential
- Creates a valuable “roadmap” for success
- Assists economically challenged students attending college
For more information on how to become a mentor call Michael Everett, Director at 609-513-2783
CHAMPIONS OF YOUTH UPDATE – 2014
Although we are a school-school program, Champions was first created as a high school drop-out prevention program. Over the past nine years, we have had one student drop out of school! Champion students who have taken the Senior Option program have received college credits from Atlantic Cape Community College before graduating from high school. Our relationship/partnership with colleges, businesses, and the AC School District allows us to provide Champions with a unique opportunity. Colleges through the years include: Rowan University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Stockton College, Columbia University, University of Florida, La Salle University, Hampton, Bennett College, Atlantic Cape Community College and Cumberland Community College.
Congratulations to our college graduates this year that include: Rose Mary Carmona, Melissa Luna, Manzi Haque, and Alexis Diaz.
Champions involvement with community service, something that distinguishes them from so many of their peers, has been tremendous this year! Additionally, our Game Face activities have exposed them to so many different experiences that they would not have traditional obtained – visits to Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Constitution Center; Philadelphia Kimmel Center and the Arden Theatre.
We are proud to say that Champions anticipates 9 high school graduates in 2014; and of those 9, 6 will be attending four-year universities.