New high school focuses on leadership and career readiness

Graduation achievement and community leadership drive new Michigan initiative

leadership-academyMichigan students looking for flexible learning opportunities will soon be able to earn their high school diploma online while developing into agents of change in their local communities.

Through diverse community and business partnerships, the Heroic Leadership Academy in Flint, Mich., will combine comprehensive supports in education and leadership training for at-risk students.

The academy, which will open with the 2015-16 school year, is designed to help students ages 15-19 harness their existing qualities and become “heroic leaders,” according to a press release on the school.

Next page: How the academy will focus on instilling leadership skills in students

GEARup2LEAD, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering leadership in local communities, established the academy with education support from Graduation Alliance, which offers career planning and alternative education to help students prepare for employment opportunities.

The academy will take a multifaceted approach to leadership training, with students gaining diverse experiences as both mentees and mentors. Each student will be matched with mentors from local universities, as well as community mentors from nearby businesses and organizations who will assist in personalized career readiness.

Concurrently, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills, serving as mentors and positive role models for at-risk children at the Whaley Children’s Center.

“We want our students to feel what it’s like to be a heroic leader,” said Adam Hartley, executive director of GEARup2LEAD. “Our core mission is to help students achieve a high school diploma and draw out the best characteristics that are already within them, ultimately benefiting our communities and state.”

Students from around the state are eligible to enroll in the program through Michigan’s Schools of Choice program. After students complete all state and local graduation requirements through the program, they will receive a high school diploma from Swartz Creek Community Schools. Enrolled students will earn their high school credits through Graduation Alliance’s nationally accredited online curriculum.

“This initiative is a textbook win-win situation for Michigan students and local communities,” said Ray Kelly, CEO of Graduation Alliance. “The layers of support that we offer with our curriculum match the Heroic Leadership Academy’s mission of helping students become agents of change and better their communities.”

Michigan’s Schools of Choice deadline for enrollment is Aug. 14. For more information about the Heroic Leadership Academy and how to get involved, please visit www.gearup2lead.org/heroic-leadership-academy/.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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