Welfare Rights Initiative’s Youth Leadership Project (YLP) is an educational skill building and leadership development program for young women and men in Title I NYC public high schools and middle schools. YLP offers classes and workshops to enhance student’s academic skills, and through leadership training, develop the self confidence needed to fill out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and college applications.
YLP’s leadership development classes and workshops focus on self-awareness, active listening, effective communication, group work, civic involvement, college and financial aid. In addition, students are given the opportunity to develop note-taking, reading and writing skills.
In WRI’s supportive, learning community, students focus on aspects of social and economic justice, as they learn to critically analyze the welfare and education policies that directly affect their lives. Students write, call and engage in dialogue with their elected representatives concerning the issues that matter most to them. They outreach to their peers not in the class through discussions and creative presentations.
WRI’s High School Programs:
College and Leadership Workshop (CLW): Two nine week one period workshops: Part A) For high school juniors. Part A focuses on developing leadership skills, self awareness and a connection to college B) For High School Seniors to continue skill building and fill out the FAFSA and CUNY applications.
Community Leadership Seminar (CLS): A semester long college level seminar for high school students. The seminar is designed for up to 15 students meetings twice a week for 2 hours. Students who successfully completed the Community Leadership Seminar are able to receive an English or Elective Credit at our partner school.
Community Leadership Class (CLC): A year long, college level class for high school students that begins with a large class lecture, then breaks into working groups. The Community Leadership class is designed for up to 50 students meeting once a week for 2.5 hours. Students who successfully complete the Community Leadership Class are able to receive 2 credits at our partner school.
WRI’s Middle School Programs:
In Their Own Words
“In this class I got to learn how to become a leader and I became more open to myself rather than letting it stay inside like a secret.”
“WRI has been a big help in many ways. It has helped to bring light to my weaknesses while attempting to better them. It has taught me much about what a true leader is and if I tried hard enough, I could be one too.”
“WRI has helped me a lot. It brought out my self confidence and it made me less timid.”
“In the beginning I really thought I would have hated this class and I probably would have dropped it but I really learned a lot…I am more aware of things I do. I learned about active listening which was a great lesson. This class has helped me so much. I can take all that I have learned in this class and take it with me and know that I’ll be just fine.”
“I know what to really expect from college.”
“I feel that this class was very fun. I learned a lot and also developed new skills that I could take for the future.”
“My experience filling out the FAFSA is one I will remember. It was made easier with the preparation.”
“I feel like I matured a lot and I’m happy that WRI has helped me get to this point.”