Rising Leaders: Local high schoolers receive academic and civic enrichment through new Wagner program

Rising Leaders: Local high schoolers receive academic and civic enrichment through new Wagner program


Thanks to a grant from the New World Foundation COIN Program, Wagner College established the Port Richmond Partnership Leadership Academy in the fall of 2013. This unique program for high school students is designed to deepen participants’ academic abilities as well as develop their community capacity-building skills to effect positive change locally.

A three-year program, the Leadership Academy launched its first cohort in the summer of 2014. The 12 rising juniors from Port Richmond High School spent five weeks in academic coursework focused on writing and math, and in a community-focused internship placement with a non-profit agency. Two weeks of the program were spent in residence at Wagner College.

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In year one of the program, students received special instruction from high school teachers to develop their writing and math skills. They also worked with a community partner to study the assets of their own local community and learn its rich history, producing a map of the area’s resources that will be used by local nonprofit leaders in their advocacy work.

Throughout the summer program and continuing during the academic year, the high school students are mentored by Wagner College student leaders and community partners from local non-profits. In the second and third years, Academy students take courses with Wagner faculty, earning college credit and becoming oriented to college-level work even before their high school graduation. Additionally, Academy students will work 20 hours per week at a Port Richmond non-profit organization.

Upon completion of this multi-year commitment, participants will be eligible to apply for one of four full-tuition scholarships to Wagner College.