What is Project Ready?
Project Ready is a signature program of the National Urban League (NUL) designed to provide enhanced academic and social support to 9-12th grade high school students as they prepare for post-secondary success. In many college preparation programs, greater emphasis is often placed on academic skill building for college, often times at the expense of other equally important concerns such as students' personal capacities and social maturity for college. The Project Ready College Access Curriculum explicitly integrates academic preparation for college along with life skills development and a “readiness” set of emphases on personal, global, and cultural awareness. NUL has developed a unique and comprehensive approach to building the academic, personal, and social assets of African American students called "Project Ready". The College Access Curriculum is comprised of three (3) key components Academic Development, Social Development, and Cultural & Global Awareness.
The National Urban League started Project Ready in 2006 as premier program.
How big is Project Ready?
Project Ready involves nearly 2,000 youth nationwide.
What have Project Ready participants achieved?
Since 2006, over 5,000 young people have participated in Project Ready in their local communities and have experienced success across a number of dimensions. For example,
- By the end of the school year in mid-2011, Urban League affiliates reported that at least 96% of their participating youth would be promoted to the next grade or were accepted into a two- or four-year college. This is an impressive result, considering that 46% of these students were enrolled in the free or reduced school lunch program, and that, on average nationally, less than 86% of students graduate at schools where 35%-49% of students are eligible for free or reduced school lunch. (Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School, BIE School, and Private School Data Files," 2007–08)
- After 178 girls and students of color participated in Project Ready: STEM at the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, the portion who were interested in pursuing a STEM career increased from 39% to 59%.
- Urban Leaguers from Wichita KS and Houston TX teamed up to produce a great college tour.
- Partners in the Knoxville Area Urban League’s Project Ready: Mentor program developed and shared a high-impact model for Behind the Business Tours.
Urban League of Middle Tennessee Project Ready Information
- Started in 2009
- Average class or group size 25-30
- Consists of 3rd Saturday of every month for academic school year and includes intercession/spring breaks. The Saturday Academy addresses social, cultural, and academic learning throughout the school year.
- Summer Academy in June. The Summer Academy addresses Leadership, Academics, and Life skills over 3 weeks as a summer camp.
- ACT Prep Course an online course that supports ACT preparation.
- ACT Boot Camp is a 12 hour pre ACT exam instruction and readiness course before the exam dates.
- Senior Seminar is focused on high school seniors designed to explore critical issues that can derail or advance a student’s successful matriculation to their freshman year and beyond in college. It also provides information for parents and students on application process, financial aid and scholarships.
- Cultural Programs consisting of fall exchange, African-American museums, local cultural trips, career exploration visits, black history activities and events.
- Academic, Social, and Personal development sessions like financial literacy, resume writing, interview skills, social media 101, and service learning.
- College Tours = Visit in-state and out of state colleges.
- National Youth Summit Participation (Part of National Urban League Conference that brings 500 youth together for 5 days July 24-28, 2013)
- Fundraisers help support the program and future programmatic cost.
Commitment: Attend minimum of 6 sessions during the year and raise $500 to be eligible for National Youth Summit. Staff: Ken Green, President/CEO & Robert Robinson, Youth Services Program Manager Contact: Office 615-254-0525 Sponsors: State Farm, Comcast, The Memorial Foundation, and Advance America, UPS, Cricket Wireless, Dell, Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Trust