Middle College National Consortium’s Student Leadership Initiative Set to Explore Habitat and Humanity

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After seven months of study, organizing and action, students from Middle College National Consortium Schools across the nation will convene at Edgecomb HS to share their experiences, knowledge and local projects in the hopes of building a network of youth that will make a difference. The annual MCNC Student Leadership Initiative is scheduled to run from April 27th to May 1st in Tarboro, North Carolina.

Dr. Cecilia L. Cunningham, President MCNC

The MCNC Student Leadership Initiative is the premier example of how performance based education leads to highly successful student outcomes

Two hundred Early College/Middle College students representing 18 Middle College National Consortium Schools will be exploring issues of Habitat and Humanity at a Student Leadership Initiative Conference in Tarboro, NC, April 27-May 1. The annual event, which engages students in local projects of national significance is being hosted by students and teachers from Edgecombe Early College HS. The Student Leadership Initiative, in its 18th year, engages students, 14-18 years of age, who attend a high school on a community college campus, in research and activities that empower them to take actions that make a difference in the world. After seven months of study, organizing and action, they convene at a host school for four days to share their experiences, knowledge and local projects in the hopes of building a network of youth that will make a difference.

Recent conferences have employed social media to build youth connections and outreach around Social Justice in New Orleans, Water Protection and Accessibility in Greenville, SC, and My Green City, at Estes Park, Colorado. This year’s conference theme, Preserving Our Habitat, Saving our Humanity grew out of the rebirth and rebuilding of the Tarboro community after devastating floods swept through the region over a decade ago. Preserving the culture of this historically significant community was at odds with environmental sustainability. Participating students will see, first hand, how the residents faced and overcame this dilemma.

Students attending the conference work for seven months doing local research and working on local projects. In Greenville, they will raise funds, awareness and assist in the rebuilding of a local play area for needy children. In Los Angeles, students are taking the message of habitat stewardship to their classmates and to youngsters in local middle schools. In New York they are learning about rooftop gardening as an alternative air filtration system and way to improve urban habitats. Students from the host school have spent the year using discarded cardboard, which occupied too much space in landfills, to make kayaks. The school population of 157 students have built floating watercrafts that will take part in a race in the Tarboro River as the climax of the conference. As a concluding activity all students will make ten minute films to be shown at a film festival and be the focus of panel discussions held on the Edgecombe Community College campus in North Carolina. Upon returning to their communities, participants will share what they learned in Tarboro with classmates and use that information to sustain programs they have started on their campuses.

Middle College National Consortium, headquartered in New York City, is a leader in the movement to establish and sustain high school/college dual enrollment as a viable and necessary educational model. Middle College National Consortium's mission is to develop small schools in which high school students, especially those who have been previously underserved by their former schools, can earn both a high school diploma and either an Associate's Degree or transferable college credits upon graduation.

To learn more about the Middle College National Consortium, visit us at (http://www.mcnc.us/) for a comprehensive overview of our history, design principles, current work and achievements.

Contact information
Tony Hoffmann
Middle College National Consortium
http://mcnc.us
718-361-1981 X6
thoffmann(at)mcnc(dot)us

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