About the Program
In April 2015, The Office of Equity and Access (OEA) launched NYC
Girls Reaching Every Apex Together GREAT!
(NYC GREAT!), a Young Women’s Leadership Initiative. NYC GREAT! is designed to provide experiences that support the development of leadership and communication skills in young women who are currently attending high school. The program aims to serve as a vehicle for young women to find their voice, articulate their purpose, and to become architects of their own future—such as making college and career choices. The goal of each interaction with participants is to have them consider, “Why settle for average when you can be GREAT?”
High school young women in Grade 10 are encouraged to apply now
Initiated in the Bronx in 2015, the program currently serves girls from all five boroughs and is grounded in five pillars:
- College Readiness;
- Mastery Learning; and
- Building Sisterhood
All of which spell CLIMBS.
NYC GREAT! participants identify their leadership styles and harness communication skills in sessions designed to support them as they decide how they want to experience life as young women, sisters, and leaders. Interactive sessions and new-century experiences work hand in hand to ensure that they are “at the ready” for success in high school, in college, and in their career.
To accomplish this, the NYC GREAT! participants engage in experiences that offer opportunities to: explore career paths; receive guidance on applying for college; challenge themselves to take control of their career trajectories; and empower them to make decisions that will further their academic and professional goals.
Watch a video about the program here: https://bit.ly/2IN46aj
GREAT! Day Conferences
These full day sessions take place during the school year on Saturdays and are designed to help young women unpack their understanding of who they are and how confidence, reflective practice, and leadership play a role in the continuing development of self. Participants have access to guest speakers, field-trips, films, and mini-workshops to further support their efforts to reach their goals. Participants attend leadership sessions in a college setting through unique partnerships with college and universities.
GREAT! College Tours
During the winter, spring, and school breaks, the young women participate in single day and overnight college tour excursions that allow them to “locate” themselves on a campus as they consider what makes a good “fit” for them, their learning styles, their interests, and their aspirations.
Sample List of NYC GREAT! College Tour Visits:
- Barnard College
- Colgate University
- Columbia University
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- Howard University
- Mercy College
- Rutgers University
- Sarah Lawrence
- Seton Hall
- St. Francis College
- St. John’s University
- Syracuse University
GREAT! Parent/Caregiver Conferences
These conferences occur throughout the year, and are designed to provide parents and caregivers with opportunities to connect with the facilitation team and to explore new skills as they provide home support to participants in the program. Much of the content in these sessions mirror their experiences—which often leads to shared vocabulary and understanding between the young women and their families. With full parental engagement and support, participants are likely to thrive, stay connected, and enjoy success in the program.
NYC GREAT! facilitators serve as mentors to the young women and work side by side with their mentees as they unpack their hopes and dreams about leadership, college and career readiness, and success. In addition to the facilitators, the NYC GREAT! program engages women from a variety of career profiles to participate in Mentoring Days in which they visit women in leadership who share their stories, insights, and reflections on being a girl.
In summer 2018, the program’s second annual Summer Leadership Institute will kick off in July. Participants will meet on a college campus for daily sessions and field trips/excursions. The 4-week summer intensive includes an emphasis on the five pillars and there’s a particular focus on introspection and building sisterhood as the out of school time provides opportunities to explore youth voice and delve deeper into the conversations that matter most to the young women in the program.