education, physical fitness, Uncategorized, youth jobs, youth sports

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Community Development can mean different things to different people.  However, in its simplest form it is “people helping people improve their life conditions by addressing common interest.”  Through Coaching For Change (C4C), we believe that changes begins in our own communities, and that the members of our communities are the best ones to make the change. For the city of Brockton, we believe that there are two major issues affecting our community: education/career pathways and childhood obesity. Through partnerships, we empower our community to work together to identify the problem, come up with solutions and make it all happen!

As the summer time approaches, we think of perfect weather, BBQs and beaches.  Teens and young Imageadults are getting ready for summer break which is filled with fun and friends. For many teens, during the summer, every day is a Saturday, free of responsibility and full of unsupervised hours to spend with friends.  C4C sees this as an opportunity to use fun recreational activity and sports to connect teens with positive role models and turn them into role models for their community.  With youth employment on the decline and the increase in major social inequalities, C4C uses sports to employ teens while they learn about leadership.

In Brockton, MA the Education and Workforce Training Taskforce reported that youth lack the opportunities they need to develop the skills neccessary to succeed in today’s global economy.  Majority of the youth population face low literacy, poverty, language barriers, low skill attainment and health issues as a challenge to their success.  Research has also shown the decline in skill, information, and academic retention that occurs during the summer months. This is why Coaching For Change believes in continuing relevant skill development, social support, and academic mentoring during the summer months.

C4C uses the summer break as an opportunity to enhance teen skills development for college and/or the workplace.  Through sports we create a learning environment that challenges and connects them with positive mentors in both formal and informal environments (e.g., sporting events, theater, professional development). The program uses a hands on approach to educate and get teenagers involved in the process of individual empowerment and creating community change by getting kids more active.

The summer provides us with so many opportunities to collaborate with groups and organizations who are reaching out to youth. We are excited to begin the summer by hosting our Leadership and Business Academy, our summer camps and clinics, and our field trips!

How will you use your summer to learn about and contribute to a sustainable social and economic development?

–Marquis and Liza


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education, Uncategorized

MAKE IT HAPPEN

This past week, news feeds have been filled with graduation speeches, notable graduation speakers, highlights of advice, lessons “I wish I had known” and stories of celebration and achievement. Facebook and Twitter are buzzing with happy family photos, smiling faces, diplomas, and graduation parties.

While it is a time to celebrate the hard work and achievements, the endurance and the triumphs, and the challenges and successes of our graduates, it’s impossible not to wonder what happened (or will happen) to those who did not graduate?

Launched by America’s Promise Alliance in 2010, a movement called “Grad Nation” is working to end America’s dropout crisis by engaging organizations, individuals and communities who realize the impact that the drop out rate has on our economy and on the life choices of our young people. According to Grad Nation 2012, the high school drop out rate claims more than “one million students each year, costing individuals the loss of potential earnings and the nation hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue.” Hundreds of billions. Ensuring that our young people persist and succeed in high school is about making sure they are engaged in critical thinking, analysis, historical foundations, basic skills of reading/writing — which, of course, are vitally important. But, to not invest in them means that we, in turn, are not investing in our own success as well.

The success of our young people has a national impact. 

“Building a Grad Nation 2012” highlights some key economic outcomes

of improving the high school and college graduation rates:

  • higher education results in higher earnings for individuals
  • higher education lowers costs to taxpayers — moving just one student from dropout status to graduate status yields more than $200,000 in higher tax revenue and lower government expenditures
  • education helps to close the skills gap and ensures that America remains competitive
  • improved education boosts the nation’s economic growth

It’s exciting for us to see that Coaching For Change has really focused on these key areas as well. Because we offer paid apprenticeships, we equip our students with the skills and knowledge to be competitive in a global environment while also contributing to their financial stability.  It was not enough for us to just say, “Work hard. Stay in school.” We needed to provide structural — and financial — support for our students to make it possible!

 

By providing a cross-age mentoring program, our college partners inspire our high school students to stay on the path towards  graduation and college attendance; our high school students work closely with our elementary and middle school students, decreasing the pipeline of young people who are underprepared and underserved.

At Coaching For Change, we seek to develop partnerships with civic leaders, community organizations, and corporations who want to be a part of community change. Together, we can increase opportunities for economic improvement, decrease the high school drop out rate, and develop our next generation of leaders.

Coaching tomorrow’s leaders, starting today. 

Liza

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education, youth jobs

COMPETE

The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort. — Colin Powell

 

While we have a lot of fun playing basketball, coaching, and organizing fun activities at Coaching For Change, our teens also know that we have high expectations for them. We expect them to give 110% in school and after school. And, through the support of our program, their families, role models and mentors, our Game Changers always put in “above average” effort.

We are committed to education. Coaching For Change, Inc. is designed to expand  learning experiences beyond traditional classrooms.  C4C offers an outlet that connects classroom experiences with lessons learned through sports; We believe this collaboration strengthens our students’ desires to graduate from high school and creates more options for success. To achieve success, C4C believes that we must address the  drop-out crisis that is sending half the young men of color into the world without a high school degree. To do this, we need to collaborate, come together, and commit to providing all students with a meaningful education. Students need more ways to pursue knowledge and interests beyond their schools’ curricula, and Coaching For Change provides that opportunity.

We address workforce needs. In a community deeply affected by poverty, crime, drug use and social equity issues, the teenagers in our program learn and apply skills that can revitalize the the Brockton community. In 2011, the City of Brockton’s Education Working Group identified a need for a workforce development programs to improve the skill of entry-level workers and to improve the overall employment rate. With a high school drop out rate of 33%, the community’s ability to create and support vibrant economic growth is negatively impacted when we do not have access to business, education, and innovation. Without high school completion, teens lack access to pathways to help them develop skills to enter the workforce.

We approach skill development differently. With the improvement in access to technology, some businesses are increasing productivity and profits while reducing the number of employees.  The paradox is that many jobs still remain vacant despite a large pool of unemployed workers.  Businesses are looking for skilled workers who can also fill generalist roles. Therefore, it is becoming clear that one-size fit all system of preparation does not fit the needs of the changing employment market. We must prepare our young people to gain a diverse range of skills while also demonstrating an ability to specialize.  According to Boston Indicators, “The loss of high-paid, low-skilled manufacturing jobs has widened income inequality and contributed to youth unemployment and racial/ethnic disparities in health and education.”

We make a difference.  At Coaching For Change, our students learn how to  think critically, perform professionally, and demonstrate competency in leadership. We address the need to graduate from high school and to continue to college. We connect the needs of the community with the contributions of our teens. We think collaboratively — not just competitively — and partner with existing organizations that are making a difference in the community.

Sports teaches us to compete. Coaching For Change gives us the skills to be competitive. 

–Marquis

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education

Changes to the Drop Out Age

One of the key performance goals of Coaching for Change, Inc is to encourage and empower students to complete high school, leveraging their opportunities for future success. According to a recent study, college graduates make 84% more than high school graduates. Success in college and in career relies on students graduating from high school.
In March 2012, Massachusetts Joint Commission on Education recommended a bill that would raise the legal drop out age from 16 to 18. But, does making an act illegal actually solve the problem? In a response from the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education:

Engaging students in learning so they are prepared for further training and gainful employment should be the goal of any dropout prevention initiative.  MBAE supports recommendations that build on evidence of what works – such as early warning systems that identify students at risk and interventions for these students that keep them on track to graduation.  According to Civic Enterprise’s Silent Epidemic, nearly 70% of dropouts were not motivated to work hard and two-thirds would have worked harder if more was demanded of them.  Over 80% said their chances of staying in school would have increased if classes were more interesting and provided opportunities for real-world learning.   Making it illegal for youth under age 18 to dropout of school will not address this reality.  MBAE supports action that will.

Coaching for Change, Inc has taken an innovative approach to making education relevant, particularly to students who are disillusioned by our education system. While education reform takes a coordinated effort — one in which the best interest of the students and the diverse learning styles of our students is central to learning — we provide ways for students to connect to their classes, lessons, and material. By creating micro-enterprises and businesses that are dependent on the students’ understanding and application of English, history, psychology, and mathematics as well as communication, leadership, and organization, our Game Changers must use a holistic approach to education in order to be successful. Our Game Changers must work together and apply all of these lessons and skills in order to create successful sporting events. They see the programs from start to finish, learn how to work as a team, and create business plans for each event. Their success depends on their learning; and their learning depends on their success.
At Coaching for Change, Inc., we believe that we cannot force students to learn. Rather, we must show them how learning connects to their personal interests, success, and futures.
Coaching today, the leaders of tomorrow.
–Liza
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