The purpose of our Leadership Academy is to instill in our students a desire for learning, increasing their graduation rates, engage non-traditional subject matters and career choices, while helping them also develop leadership skills. These skills will allow self-navigating and making critical choices in life that result in positive impacts. We provide mentoring and education for a lifetime.
The Achievement Gap
According to the most recent data from the State of California, Department of Education, approximately 25% of students in the County of Riverside do no graduate from high school, farther more, nearly 35% of minority student do not graduates. Dis-proportionally, these students are from low economic and socially depressed backgrounds.
A more alarming article published by the Riverside County Board of Education, cited a study by Fight Crime, that pointed out that students without a high school diploma will not only earn less income, but is more than three times as likely to be arrested, and eight times are likely to end up behind bars as opposed to a student who graduates high school. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the high social cost of treating, and housing criminal offenders.
SOEW- Standing in the Gap
To offer our youth a path to greater future, the society of Extraordinary Women addresses the achievement gap by providing access to high-quality training designed to make an indelible impression on each participant. The Ignite Leadership Program is for students from Middle to High school. The programs areas of focus are the following:
- Leadership Development
- Team Building
- Financial Literacy
- Community Involvement
- College Preparation
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
We track and mentor our students through college.
We continue to develop leaders as they graduate and find their places in business or become entrepreneurs through our Leadership Series for Women. The programs area of focus is:
- Purposeful Leadership
- Organizational Management
- Community involvement and collaborations
- Financial Literacy
Women in this program provide mentoring to our younger students as they are mentored by member of our board who have been successful in their life’s work.
Eccles et al (1993) found that girls had lower self-esteem than boys in middle school and the gender gap grew when girls transitioned from middle school to high school. Harter (1999) posits explanations for the decline in self-esteem: (1) girls are more negatively affected by experiences with failure than are boys. The sensitivity may limit their willingness to take risks for rewards or advanced opportunities; (2) many girls experience a conflict between feminine goals and competitive achievements, resulting in increased anxiety in competitive situations; (3) girls are confronted with societal and school structures that favor boys and with pressure to conform to gender roles that limit their exploration; (4) girls are less satisfied with body image compared to boys, and this is compounded by pubertal changes; and (5) girls are more likely to worry about their problems than boys and this tendency to worry puts girls at risk for depression.
A National Perspective
Nationwide, the statistics are also eye-opening. A study released last January by the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education found that in the country’s 50 largest cities and the 45 metro areas that surround them, approximately 600,000 students dropped out from the class of 2008, at great cost not only to themselves but also to their communities.
How high was that cost? If high school dropout rates were reduced by half, graduates in the United States would likely have;
- Bought homes worth $10.5 billion more than what they would likely spend without a diploma
- Supported 30,000 additional jobs and increased the gross regional product in these metro areas by a total of up to $5.3 billion by the time the graduates reached the midpoint of their careers
- Seen $4.1 billion in combined additional earnings in the average year
- Spent an additional $2.8 billion and invested an additional $1.1 billion each year
- Boosted tax revenue by $536 million each year
- Spent an additional $340 million each year purchasing vehicles
These findings make it clear, says Edward B. Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm® (which provided funding for the study), that “assuring that all of our students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to compete in a global economy is something all businesses…should see as a priority.”
*California County Comparison, available at http://www.cpec.ca.gov/ (last visited 2015)