Our approach to youth development integrates academic support, character, and professional development opportunities via sports based development methods. Our goals are to enhance our students’ academic performance, athletic ability, critical thinking skills, and self-efficacy. We facilitate our objectives through the execution of four enrichment programs, which supports youth between ages 10 to 18.
“CASH” College Access Study Hall: ages 14-18,
enrolled student-athletes at HD Woodson and Luke C. Moore High School receive homework support, participate in our college readiness workshops, and receive one-on-one tutoring. We also support the school coaching staff by assisting with position specific basketball drills. A mid-week academic planning meeting is conducted for each participant.
“The Round Table: ages 16-19, This program was established to addressed three major community concerns, (1) the lack of male support in SOUL supported schools, (2) provide mentorship for low-income young males highly likely to engage in risky behaviors, and (3) create a safe space for young men to be vulnerable and ask questions that will promote self-efficacy.
Sister Circle: ages 14-19, this program provides a safe space for women athletes to explore personal development and receive additional mentoring. This program was created to empower and promote educational excellence within our female student-athletes community. Sister Circle aims to equip our young ladies with tools needed to remind athletes of their self-worth and significance to the world around them.
Sustainability Education Program. We are collaborating with the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Science at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the HD Woodson S.T.E.M. High School’s science department to present a sustainability education program for 12 DC Public High School students. This program explores the economics, agricultural, sociological, and environmental sustainability of urban sustainability.
SOUL Summer Institute: ages 10-14,
in collaboration with the Richardson Dwellings Resident Council and City Gate DC. Youth attend our eight week youth development program that introduces them to the world through a specific academic subject. The theme for Summer 2014 was, “Discovering the World through Math.”
Approximately 99% of our youth reside in low-income communities, a majority of them live in high crime neighborhoods, and all attend economically disadvantaged DC public schools. These challenges often effect the academic success and professionalism of vulnerable youth, which often leads to them functioning below their respective grade level proficiency. We have found that many young men raised in these types of environments have a passion for athletics. SOUL uses that passion to overcome the barriers against them, collaborating with a myriad of public and private organization to create innovative programs.