Join the Future Scholars Program!
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Are you a high school student — or a parent of one — in the West Philadelphia area? Are you an African diaspora individual — that is, a first-generation American, African immigrant, African-American, Afro-Caribbean? Do you want to learn more about how to prepare for college?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, African Community Learning Program (ACLP) wants you to join the Future Scholars Program (FSP). A free, after-school college preparatory program, FSP aims to serve African diaspora students in grades 9 through 12 through a culturally responsive, African-centered curriculum.
For the 2020-2021 school year, ACLP Future Scholars Program plans to support up to 15 students. Though Paul Robeson High School will serve as the home for scholars and their programming during the academic year, ACLP Future Scholars Program fall semester will be taught remotely. In 10 virtual sessions, students will learn a range of practical academic and life skills that will prove essential for success in college and beyond. These lessons, held Tuesdays from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM EST, will take place from October 6th, 2020 to December 8th, 2020.
ACLP Future Scholars will learn and develop skills from the following themes and topics:
How to Take Pride in Your Culture
How to Write Emails for Different Audiences
How to Speak Truth to Power: Self and Community Advocacy Through Letter Writing
Exploring College: A Virtual Trip to American University
Preparing for Your Future: Career vs. Job (panel discussion)
Racial Justice and the Role of Young People (panel discussion)
How to Adapt to and Persevere in Difficult Situations
How to Effectively Manage Your Time
How to Persuasively Tell Your Story
Celebrating Africa Through Students’ Work and Community (Africa Celebration)
ACLP Future Scholars Program seeks to make a difference in two key areas — the number of students who don’t attend college and those who dropout once enrolled — by providing practical tools for academic and life achievements. Students of the African diaspora tend to experience common injustices within school walls: racism, lack of resources for quality education, cultural exclusion from curricula and instruction, dismissal of intelligence and value, bullying and stereotypes tied to their origins.
Data covering 20 years, from 1994 to 2014, shows that Philadelphia-area universities have consistently enrolled low percentages of Black undergraduate students, and the rate has decreased even more over time from 9.2 percent to 7.9 percent. The U.S. Census American Community Survey reports that, in 2018 in Philadelphia, 83.9% of students graduated from high school; however, only 23.9% of people graduated from college, where a mere 5.1% earned an associate degree. Among Black students, such statistics are even lower. In fact, the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health noted that only 60.6% of Black students in Philadelphia high schools graduated in 2018.
As such, ACLP Future Scholars Program was crafted with specific goals in mind. Its curriculum aims to encourage students to attend college as well as to teach scholars soft and hard skills necessary to succeed once there. Through mentorship and lessons, Future Scholars improve their college readiness, expand their visions for pursuing their academic and career goals, and become empowered to see themselves as agents of change in their own lives and society.
The team behind ACLP Future Scholars Program is a diverse one, with a range of experiences within both the American education system and African diaspora community. ACLP Future Scholars Program’s curriculum development and teaching is a product of these combined experiences. At the leadership level, African Community Learning Program is run by a group of college graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Pennsylvania and American University. They are individuals of diverse African diaspora, American, immigrant, low-income socioeconomic status, English learner, and first-generation college student backgrounds. The board and leadership team members have significant experience in creating empowering curriculum and content along with an understanding of and appreciation for teaching through a social justice lens. African Community Learning Program’s team has many connections with individuals across education and career trajectories to mentor Future Scholars and speak languages relevant to students’ cultures and learning, including French, Pulaar, Wolof, and Yoruba.
African Community Learning Program is dedicated to teaching, empowering, and supporting Philadelphia’s African diaspora youth through a meaningful, cultural pride lens. Apply to ACLP Future Scholars Program today!