Our purpose is to transform the culture of schools to improve outcomes for youth and schools. We do this through our values-based leadership model, working closely with the Department of Education, building the capacity of high schools to support youth engagement and leadership and serving economically disadvantaged youth and communities.
Since 2009 we have worked to build spaces, platforms and networks where previously disadvantaged young people and educators become leaders in their own lives and change agents in schools and their community. Through youth-led, educator supported social action projects, young leaders develop 21st century skills and improve their school environment. They have significantly better retention, education and transition outcomes than their peers. We partner with schools for a period of 3 years to embed a values based youth engagement culture, which drives social action, addresses school challenges, and creates a movement for change.
At the heart of our programme is personal transformation and better outcomes for young people. After successful completion of the first phase, graduates are more confident, academically motivated, future and service orientated. Through their participation in social action projects they develop critical thinking, communication, resilience, problem solving, collaboration etc. 73% of learners take up leadership positions while at school, 89% complete school and as many as 79% achieve tertiary eligibility in their matric exams. After leaving school over 70% either transition into study or work opportunities.
Our programme also achieves real and lasting impact beyond the individual. We embed a model of values based youth engagement, transforming often dysfunctional school culture, which benefits learners over time. Youth and adults work together to address challenges at school level. Communities of practice, educator values champions and our Alumni all drive the movement for change.
In the next 10 years we aim to substantially expand our reach by developing and building the capacity of catalytic schools who will in turn partner with neighbouring schools and work together to create a network of youth engagement, leadership and school culture change. Graduates from our programme will be equipped to provide network schools with services to support social action, academic achievement and social emotional learning and support, while developing their own skills and livelihood.