The Rising Scholars partnership with the University of Michigan began in 2009 with the following:
- Parent summit
- Communication training retreat
- Summer enrichment academy
- With study skills in math and science
- College prep instruction
- Overnight dorm stay on the University of Michigan campus
- Day of activities with an introduction to college life
- And a service-learning project located in two communities.
Students are placed into cohorts at their respective schools for four years where they attend classes together and participate in a daily leadership development course during the first year.
Implementing mentorships with individual students is a key element of our program. During the summer the University of Michigan CEO provided undergraduate student mentors/tutors. The mentors/tutors became familiar with the students at the retreat and continued to be connected with the students during the school year. Mentors/tutors attend classes with students that are struggling and meet in groups with students according to subject areas needing clarity.
Rising Scholars will participate in a study abroad and service-learning project in the developing country of Tanzania during their junior year. A semester long class will be team-taught by college professors from the University of Michigan African studies program along with Ann Arbor Public Schools history teachers, followed by a ten-day trip to Tanzania during spring break. The international study abroad and service-learning component for which we are seeking funds is the culminating project for the Rising Scholars as they prepare for transition to competitive college programs during senior year. For many youth who face economically challenging circumstances, traveling outside their immediate communities is a distant opportunity that is often not experienced.
Rising Scholars will integrate meaningful communication with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, to teach civic responsibility, and strengthen a bond on two different continents. The Rising Scholars will communicate with local High School Tanzanian students at the UAACC through Skype.
We will provide the Rising Scholars with a program that encourages students to develop an intense commitment to humanitarian service both here and in Tanzania. Having a global understanding of service will enable the students to re-conceptualize how the world is interconnected and become a member the global community. These opportunities will provide the students with lessons that will increase their self-concept as individuals and increase their understanding of world affairs. Rising Scholars District Coordinator
Victor Kennerly Ph.D., LPC
Ann Arbor Schools