This summer LaunchPad (LP), local organization that reaches out to disadvantage students that are at academic crossroads due to at-risk behavior, is partnering with Enlightened Leadership Training Program in Washington, D.C. LaunchPad has identified 5 students who have successfully completely the LP program to be the Texas Delegation for the summer training camp running from July 24 through July 30.
The training will include intensive activities with seminar topics ranging from leadership, communication, and decision making skills to character building. LP will need to raise $7,000.00 by June 20th, 2011 to ensure each participant in the program is provided a round trip ticket, the training, room/board, and food. The summer program’s goal is to specifically work with immigrant and low-income minority students from various parts of the country and to expose them to critically important training for their future.
The participants will hear personal stories from successful speakers Willis S. Jenkins a Senior Program Executive for NASA’s Explorer Program in the Science Mission and a former Ambassador to South Africa who served with Nelson Mandela. LaunchPad programs have been active for the third year in a row at Dobie Middle School and in the surrounding Northeast Austin Community, an area registered by the Austin Police Index for the highest crime for aggravated assaults, theft, drugs etc. LP empowers students by providing intervention strategies and equipping them to succeed through strategic partnerships with school administrators, educators, community partners and local law enforcement.
Last school year Dobie was one of two Middle Schools in Austin that received a TEA RECOGNIZED Award for its high scores in the TAKS testing (Texas Assessment on Knowledge & Skills). The Principal of Dobie recognized LaunchPad as a key partner on the campus. One of the LaunchPad students selected to attend the 2011 Summer Leadership Training in Washington, D.C. is 15-year-old high school freshman Eduardo. Before LP’s involvement, Eduardo was out of control with his loud outbursts, disruptions, and bad temper.
The Executive Director of LP, David Contreras set up some time to talk one on one and work with him. After addressing his bad behavior and much encouragement in the after-school program, Edurado had improved all his grades, became a strong leader, and made a complete turnaround. Later Eduardo gratefully expressed that “Mr. David did not give up on me”. At his 8th Grade graduation ceremony, his mother thanked Contreras for helping and challenging her son. Today, Eduardo is a model student in his Charter High school. To make a tax-deductible contribution to help the students attend the leadership program in Washington, D.C., visit LaunchPad’ s web site www.launchpadthecenter.org , click on the PayPal link, and make sure to designate in the notes section your giving to “LP 2011 Summer Leadership Program”.
Checks can also be made to LaunchPad, P.O. Box 5092, Round Rock, Texas 78663 with designation on the memo section of your check “LP 2011 Summer Leadership Program”.
By Monica Pena