This summer, APAH hosted a session of Edu-Futuro’s Emerging Leaders Program I at Arlington Mill Residences. This program works with high school students on a variety of skills such as public speaking and writing with a focus on preparing them for college and ultimately careers. APAH’s resident services staff was excited to bring this program to our residents this summer after hearing amazing feedback from other residents who participated in the program at other sites. Edu-Futuro typically holds Emerging Leaders programming at high schools in Arlington and Fairfax counties.
For the summer program this year, both APAH and Edu-Futuro recruited students to attend. Twenty-two students completed the program. About half of the students are APAH residents while others attended because of family and friends who live at an APAH property. Residents from the entire APAH portfolio were encouraged to attend, with transportation assistance provided for some of the residents, particularly those coming from Parc Rosslyn. Five students from Arna Valley View completed the program.
The program also featured three sessions which all the students from other program sites attended: the kick-off session, an advocacy summit, and the graduation ceremony. This allowed students to engage with students and partner organizations outside of their typical areas and build community with the other students. Students who successfully completed the first program will be eligible to participate in Emerging Leaders II, which provides one-on-one support and mentoring throughout their senior year to assist with college applications, financial aid, and preparation for college life.
In speaking with parents and students who attended, they had nothing but positive experiences to report. One parent really appreciated that the program broke down the steps for how to apply for college and financial aid; she’s planning early, her son who is just going into 9th grade already has a path to follow. She is excited to enroll her daughter, who starts 8th grade this fall, in the program next year.