On Graduation

If you’ve never been to a CCNY graduation, you should come.

All graduations are joyous events; all graduations affect transitions between years of preparation and a world rife with new possibilities.  And, I’ll admit that it’s been years since I’ve attended a graduation that did not take place on a CUNY campus—but I still think our graduations are different.

I think they’re different because they’re filled with young people rewriting their entire family history.  When you wander around after a Colin Powell School graduation ceremony, you’re surrounded by parents who’ve sent sons and daughters into a world they didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to their children.  For many it may feel like a huge gamble: will their children grow unfamiliar to them, alienated from home and culture? Will the embrace of an education build walls, or create ladders? Will a child’s opportunity be a family’s loss? Despite the risks and doubts, or perhaps because of them, students and families arrive at graduation day as to a new continent they never thought they’d reach.  The air is spiced with their joy.

Continue reading “On Graduation”

Have you seen A New Light in Harlem?

Do you know a young person who wants to be a leader in public service? Get access to world-class preparatory coursework and field experience without amassing piles of debt? Are you a scholar, educator, or community organizer looking to break down walls between the Academy and the surrounding community? Who knows that in order to find better answers to pressing questions of the 21st century, we need to hear more voices? Watch and learn more about the mission of the Colin Powell School—”A New Light in Harlem.”

Our original upload to YouTube got over 600 views in just a matter of days! We had to do a *tiny* bit of clean-up, so we uploaded a new version (click below).

The film features interviews with General Colin Powell, Dean Vince Boudreau, and faculty, students, alumni, and board members, spotlighting the amazing community we have up here on the City College campus.

Do you know a young person who wants to be a leader in public service? Get access to world-class preparatory coursework and field experience without amassing piles of debt?

Are you a scholar, educator, or community organizer looking to break down walls between the Academy and the surrounding community? Who knows that in order to find better answers to pressing questions of the 21st century, we need to hear more voices?

Watch and learn more about the mission of the Colin Powell School—”A New Light in Harlem.”

 

Three Crucial Questions for Every Student

In its name and mission, the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership pledges to “enable our students to energetically address the challenges of the 21st century” by “promoting the values of service, engagement, and leadership.” We believe a fundamental lesson of leadership is the idea of agency. The Office of Student Success begins teaching this lesson by asking our students three questions.

Kamilah Briscoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Kamilah Briscoe, Director, Office of Student Success

In its name and mission, the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership pledges to “enable our students to energetically address the challenges of the 21st century” by “promoting the values of service, engagement, and leadership.” We believe a fundamental lesson of leadership is the idea of agency. The Office of Student Success begins teaching this lesson by asking our students three questions.

Continue reading “Three Crucial Questions for Every Student”

The Powell School: Building Mission and Meaning

Even before moving into the details of merging the Colin Powell Center and Division of Social Sciences, I had some ideas about what it meant to become a school. A school would have a presence and identity more powerful and unified than separate departments and programs. A school would be an institution with specific and publicly discernible commitments and capacities. A school would have a mission—both on campus, and in the life of our city and nation. Children in the neighborhoods around City College and across the globe will be able to point to our campus and say, “The Powell School is there. That’s where I’m going to go.”

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by Vince Boudreau, Director, Colin Powell Center

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration of the Powell School this past May 2nd, I spent time asking certain questions of myself and virtually anyone else who would listen: What does it mean to become a school? What should it mean to teach and study at the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and to reside near it in the adjacent neighborhoods of Harlem and Washington Heights? How should campus life change in response to this new institution in our midst?

Continue reading “The Powell School: Building Mission and Meaning”

Tending Our Gardens

BMGF NYC School visitsby Terri N. Watson, Ph.D., School of Education, City College of New York

The final line of Tupac Shakur’s elegy “The Rose that Grew from Concrete” reads, “Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else cared.” In this poem the fallen rapper marvels at how a rose flourished despite its perilous environment. This feat rings true not only for Shakur’s rose but also for thousands of children who bloom in New York City’s schools. They grow despite their dismal realities influenced, in part, by Mayor Bloomberg’s school-reform efforts. Continue reading “Tending Our Gardens”

Social Justice for the Classroom: Part 2 of a Two-Part Series

In my previous post, I suggested we must capitalize on the momentum of social justice movements aided and propelled by social media. How, I asked, can we educate our youth and emphasize to them the possibilities for “doing good” through the technology they use every day?

For those taking up this question—activists, educators, artists, and others—this is an exciting time. Never before have we had access to so much information and ways to share ideas and our stories. As an educator and activist, I am empowered by these tools in conjunction with the new Common Core Education Standards emphasis on teaching nonfiction: It’s a perfect opportunity to re-emphasize current events and civics education. And so I created the American Justice Missing in Action Project (#ajmia), (www.ajmia.tumblr.com) a new initiative dedicated to engaging students in conversations about race, class and gender—what I call the intersections of injustice.

technology in the classroom is a tool. Photo by Dell; used under a Creative Commons license.By Kanene Holder, Center Alumna

“The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” —Alvin Toffler

“I think the first duty of society is justice.” —Alexander Hamilton

In my previous post, I suggested we must capitalize on the momentum of social justice movements aided and propelled by social media. How, I asked, can we educate our youth and emphasize to them the possibilities for “doing good” through the technology they use every day?
Continue reading “Social Justice for the Classroom: Part 2 of a Two-Part Series”

From the Field: Simone Gordon Shares Her Experience as an Intern in the Distict of Columbia Public Schools

Working in the nation’s capital – one of the country’s most diverse and highly watched school districts – I have had the opportunity to learn and contribute to the work of managing an urban school district. Through the Urban Educators Leadership Initiative Program (UELIP) I have spent the last three months interning in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Central Office. It is great, as a future educator, to witness how reforms are made at the district level and then communicated and implemented at the school level.

Working in the nation’s capital – one of the country’s most diverse and highly watched school districts – I have had the opportunity to learn and contribute to the work of managing an urban school district.  Through the Urban Educators Leadership Initiative Program (UELIP) I have spent the last three months interning in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Central Office.  It is great, as a future educator, to witness how reforms are made at the district level and then communicated and implemented at the school level. Continue reading “From the Field: Simone Gordon Shares Her Experience as an Intern in the Distict of Columbia Public Schools”

Service-Learning in NYC Schools: Outcomes and Lessons Learned

NYC Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford explains why service-learning is the route to stronger education and communities.

diahann billings-burford nyc service colin powell center learning
NYC Service Chief Officer Diahann Billings-Burford and NYC Schools Chancellor Walcott honor Service in Schools 2012 award recipients. Photo: NYC Service

By Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer of NYC Service.

Last month, NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and I celebrated the accomplishments of more than 587,000 students who participated in service during the 2011-2012 school year as part of the City’s Service in Schools initiative. Thirty schools were recognized for student participation in projects that included working on a sustainable organic farm serving Crown Heights and leading workshops for elementary school students as part of City Year’s Young Heroes program in Hunts Point.

Our Service in Schools initiative, a partnership of the Department of Education and NYC Service, encourages student participation in service of any kind. But since our launch in 2009 we’ve seen that the greatest impact on academic performance and student engagement is a result of service-learning. Continue reading “Service-Learning in NYC Schools: Outcomes and Lessons Learned”