To the Moon and Back: PLP Passport Project – Forward Focus
As we were sitting at the dinner table at Steakhouse 10, gazing across at our five students networking with community members, we realized how truly amazing we had done was. We had given so much of ourselves to our program and our students, and seeing the event come to fruition was just what we needed. We were not beaming over the price of the meal, or over the number of community stakeholders that we had in attendance, but rather over the progress that all five of our students had made.
Over the course of the last year, Forward Focus has been fortunate enough to do some amazing things in the community. From interacting with community stakeholders, to eventually partnering with one and beginning the implementation our curriculum, we have accomplished some pretty amazing feats!
What is Forward Focus?
Forward Focus is a program geared towards teaching high school sophomores at Englewood High School crucial skills, in hopes of preparing them for life after high school. The curriculum contains modules that focus on college readiness, career preparedness, financial literacy, etiquette and “middle-class” values, along with a variety of other things. The goal of Forward Focus is to groom students to be prepared for life after high school, allowing them to overcome the challenges that have been stacked against them, going on to do great things with their lives.
What Did We Do?
Over the course of spring semester, Forward Focus partnered with Englewood High School. We worked closely with the counseling department there to get our program up and running, and to also recruit students to be involved. Though the turnout was not what we were initially hoping for, we were ecstatic to have five wonderful sophomores join us! As the semester progressed, we took students through a series of modules and activities, with the end goal being life readiness.
What Was the Capstone Dinner?
To our Capstone dinner, we invited all five of our students as well as six community stakeholders who are currently working in the students’ desired career fields. The goal of this dinner was the afford students the opportunity to not only network and learn more about their dream career fields, but also to show off their newly developed skills, such as professional appearance and etiquette.
Forward Focus sought to prepare a group of students for life after high school, and we were able to accomplish that and so much more. We met our goals, bonded with some amazing students, determined a legitimate need for our program, and began creating a plan to expand. One thing that we wanted to teach our students, and succeed at, is that all things are possible; in the words of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do… begin it now.”
Forward Focus would like to give a special thanks to PLP, any and all Passport fund donors, and all of our external donors. Because of you all, we were able to accomplish much more than we ever imagined, and change the lives of five wonderful students!
Post written by: Montrell Nickerson
This project was made possible through the awarding of a Passport Grant made possible by the generous contributions of PLP Alumni and Friends. Thank you to all who empower PLPers to do amazing things!