A select group of students in each of the two Clarke County High Schools now have a chance to participate in a three-year program that will prepare them for the future. About 40 students will participate in classes which will enhance their leadership and academic skills through the Georgia Possible program.
As reported in The Red & Black, the program was created through a partnership between the Clarke County School District, UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development and the Office of the President. Its goal is to prepare its students for the process of entering college.
Those selected were nominated as eighth-grade students by their middle school teachers.
“I think we were very deliberate in making sure there was not a narrow criteria of identifying what characteristics these young people had,” said CCSD Superintendent Demond Means. “We don’t want to pigeon hole and define what young people can do based on their current academic performance. We believe that all students are really capable and possible of doing anything that they want to do.”
Last month the program launched on the UGA campus, Means said. At the kickoff, the students had a chance to work as a group on the UGA challenge course practicing “team building,” Means said.
Means said CCSD faculty involved in organizing the program, UGA President Jere Morehead and those from the Fanning Institute have planned topics to be covered such as exposure to “cultural experiences,” communication, conflict and stress management and understanding the college application process.
“You could see that they’ve already kind of became a little cohort of individuals from both schools that probably would have minimal interactions because they don’t go to the same schools,” Cedar Shoals High School Principal Derrick Maxwell said.
Means said one thing teachers considered were students who are “looking forward to doing something with their lives in post-secondary situation.” He said that grades were not a main factor in determining nominees.
Although UGA is a partner for Georgia Possible, Means said that students will not be persuaded to attend UGA specifically. He said the students will be advised no matter where they decide to go to college.
Means also said that even though there is not a plan in place for students who decide to drop out, he understands the program may not be the best fit for all young people selected to participate.
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