|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
June 21, 2001
UNCA's CREED Youth Leadership
Initiative Receives Computer Grant
Thanks to PowerUP, UNC Asheville’s CREED Youth Leadership Initiative participants are expanding their computer skills in a new computer lab housing 20 state-of-the-art Gateway PCs. The donation, valued at more than $40,000, also includes online curriculum, software and technical assistance. PowerUP, dedicated to preparing underserved youth to succeed in the digital age, is made up of more than a dozen organizations, including AOL/Time Warner Foundation, National Urban League, Sun Microsystems and the U.S. Department of Education.
Now in its fourth year, UNCA’s CREED Youth Leadership Initiative targets at-risk African American fourth graders from Asheville City and Buncombe County public schools. The program works to instill Citizenship, Responsibility, Excellence, Empowerment and Dignity (CREED) in its young participants using the underlying principles of praise, pride, academic preparedness, social skill building and service. The program has graduated some 60 students and 16 are enrolled for the current session.
The program begins with a two-week summer residency on the UNCA campus. Students are steered into learning traditional academics and character development through cultural and musical events, martial arts, outdoor recreation, computer applications and field trips.
The two-week residency is followed by a one-week commuter experience, which is intentionally transitional in order to successfully transfer participants’ newly acquired skills and values to the home setting. The program culminates with a homecoming ceremony, a festive celebration honoring participants’ achievements as well as their roles in their families and communities.
"We see many of our students who had low test scores, poor classroom grades and were in and out of suspension, raise their test scores, consistently land on the honor roll and stay out of trouble," says program Director Rollie Williams. "And while school principals and teachers note major changes in our students, it’s the parents who really speak to the success of their sons and daughters who become more mature, respectful, responsible and focused after a summer in CREED."
The program doesn’t end its work when students return to school in the fall. UNCA students, who serve as CREED mentors during the summer program, continue to work with the students on a regular basis during the academic year. In addition, CREED staff members conduct in-school and in-home visits as well as constructive after-school programs. "We stay in constant touch with our students," says Williams. "And often former CREED participants stay with the program year after year, becoming peer mentors for the new groups."
For more information, call UNCA’s CREED Youth Leadership Initiative at 828/232-4994.Media Contacts:
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