By providing 4th-12th grade students in the South Bronx with long-term, life-changing, adult mentoring relationships that inspire greatness.
In January 2009 CO Uplift expanded its model replication program to Florida, with the launch of Elevate Orlando. This was followed by Elevate Phoenix in January 2010 and Elevate New York which was introduced in March 2010 with great promise at Banana Kelly High School, in the South Bronx.
The program’s core offering is administered by a leadership team, primarily made up of, community-based, inner-city, full time staff who are available to students 24/7, for mentorship, character building, leadership training and life skills development. Dr. Del Elliott, professor at the Center for Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado and Senior Scientific Editor of the Surgeon General’s Report on Crime and Violence (2001) found that, “In order to have a statistically meaningful chance at a productive life, a child must have at least one adult relationship which is positive, caring and long-term.” We provide those adults for students who don't have them and stand along side adults, who are supporting their youth.
*Classroom Instruction happens 5 days a week in high schools, in a class that is taught as an elective for credit towards graduation. One day a week, as an elective in 'feeder' middle schools and 1 day a week at a neighboring elementary school. A prime distinctive of our program is that the high school students always teach the elementary classes, allowing them to immediately implement and transfer the lessons they’ve been taught.
*Mentoring occurs regularly after school and on weekends, through tutoring and activities designed to challenge students to grow academically and as productive citizens in their communities.
*Adventure activities are a way to get students outside their familiar environment to teach them that they actually can do things that they’ve never attempted or considered possible.
*Post Secondary training allows students to learn how to take standardized tests, write a college essays and be successful in a university interview setting. Most of our students would never get this kind of preparation at home, because no one in their immediate family has been to a university or knows how to access these types of training resources.
The high school drop out rate today, in our educational system is an alarming one with potentially devastating consequences for our society. The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that 62% of all US jobs require a 2 or 4-year college degree. By the year 2020, this will most likely increase to 75%. In stark contrast to the current labor market needs, a significant number of talented students drop out of high school and therefore never enroll in college. In the South Bronx, the initial site for Elevate New York, 55% of African American students and 53% of Latino students graduated in 2008. Further, many of those who did graduate did not go on to college. These statistics clearly demonstrate the inadequacy within our system to fully develop the next generation of human capital, which will only continue to lower our competitiveness in the global economy. Furthermore, because of increased unemployment and underemployment, high school dropouts between the ages of 18-67 pay $50 billion less in taxes annually than their graduating counterparts. This is due to dependence on welfare and food stamps and the high probability of incarceration, particularly for African American and Latino males. Studies vary in their findings about the cost to society of such individual, though the numbers are still staggering. Depending on which study you read, the cost is anywhere between $260,000 up to $1.7 million over their lifetime. So a 10 year investment to Elevate New York, of roughly $20,000 per student can save the government anywhere from $260,000 to as much as $750,000 conservatively.
As for funding, Elevate New York is financially supported by individuals; foundations and corporations who are very interested in having their resources change the landscape of New York City schools completely. These donors realize that the return on their investment is great, being visible in higher graduation rates, lower crime rates, more first generation university graduates and lives changed for the better.
KEY COMMUNITY and BOARD MEMBERS:
Dr. Nancy Hill- Harvard Graduate School of Education; Professor of Education: Educational Research and Advisor
Larry Levy, Esq.- Bracewell & Giuliani LLP: Legal Counsel
Sean Myers- Pure Potential International; National Marketing Director: Board Member for Colorado Uplift and Fundraising Advisor
Ray Lee- Inwindow Outdoor; Managing Director/New York Community Board Committee Chair: Advisor on Community Development
Founder and CEO