Each of our programs at RE is designed to meet our students and their families where they are.
One hundred percent of our students come from Black and Hispanic low-wealth households. Over 75% live in households with incomes less than $20,000; 97% live in households led by single mothers.
When they begin their journey at RE, each of our students is assessed to determine skill gaps as well as their unique social and emotional needs. From there, we create individualized plans, working with a wide range of service providers and school officials to provide wrap-around support to students and their families.
Our programs focus heavily on STE(A)M learning, which are the areas where low-wealth students tend to struggle the most academically. However, in today’s post-COVID learning environment, we find it increasingly important to focus on activities that support students’ social and emotional health.
At RE, we recognize that the challenges facing each student are highly personal; therefore, our roadmaps to success must be personal as well. We work with youth, families, and partner organizations to coordinate whatever support is necessary to ensure that students graduate from high school on time and successfully embark on their post-secondary journeys.
Students begin their RE journey with Project DREAM (Developing Raised Expectations of Adolescent Minds), which focuses on grades 5-8. Each week is structured around three instructional blocks—Homework Assistance, Academic Enrichment, and Learning Labs—with three days devoted to academic tutorial and one to enrichment. Additionally, social discovery activities—such as visits to the circus, the Botanical Gardens, and more—help to broaden students’ perspectives and stimulate their imaginations by exposing them to experiences they ordinarily would not have access to.
In Project STEMWARE (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math While Accomplishing Raised Expectations), students grades 9-12 participate in math and science tutorials, college access coaching, mentoring, and STEM career exploration. By focusing on STEM and career training, Project STEMWARE helps prepare students for many of the high-paying, high-demand jobs that stand the best chance of empowering them economically so that they can decide what they want their futures to look like. For the past five years, 97% of Project STEMWARE participants who have been in the program three years or longer have completed high school and gone on to postsecondary education or credentialed career training programs.
Summer Pathfinder Programs
In Project RISE (Raising Interest in STEM Education), students participate in informative, interactive lesson plans in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Through project-based learning, Project RISE cultivates interest in STEM subject areas while also developing students’ ability to think creatively. Throughout the camp, students typically receive 56 – 84 hours of instruction.
As an extension of Project STEMWARE, current high school students apply to transition into our YouthWORK Program, where they earn performance credits in a simulated workplace environment. For 4 – 6 weeks, students develop workplace readiness skills and explore career opportunities, all while preparing themselves for the upcoming school year. The program culminates each summer with a Mock Interview Competition, with judges volunteering from a wide range of sectors.
Project ELEVATE! assists RE’s college students with tutoring, mentorship, course selection, career coaching, networking, and preparing for summer internships. It also connects students with scholarship opportunities and other sources of funding. ELEVATE! ensures that there are no gaps or interruptions in students’ studies, helping first-generation college-goers navigate their college experience so that they can graduate and transition into their career pathway of choice.
Project REstart provides young adults (ages 18-24) who have experienced unfortunate life circumstances an opportunity to get their lives back on track. These individuals each work with an RE career coach to identify career paths and life plans that will allow them to become self-sufficient.
Partnership Programs and Other Initiatives
The driving force behind our service model at RE is community. We work with a wide range of individuals and organizations to ensure that we’re able to address our students’ academic, social, and emotional needs with a true wrap-around support model.
- We work with college volunteers from institutions such as Spelman and Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Georgia State University.
- Corporate sponsors assist with many of the resources and amenities that our students need to grow as students and as young people.
- Nonprofit partners allow us to address a wide range of needs, from helping families locate affordable housing and therapeutic services to addressing food insecurity, transportation costs, utility bills, etc.
“It takes a village,” as they say. At RE, our village is strong.
We’re always looking to expand our network of partners and supporters within the community. If you or your organization would like to learn more about opportunities to engage with RE, please email Maria Armstrong: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stockbridge Real Estate Enrichment Program (REEP) is a partnership between Raising Expectations and Stockbridge. It exposes under-resourced high school students to the commercial real estate industry and equips them with the tools to pursue and secure career opportunities in real estate.
Project Dorm and College Ready
Each year, RE donors and corporate sponsors help equip our graduating seniors with clothing, supplies, and any other materials they need to kick off their college careers and jumpstart this new chapter in their lives.
Boys, Books & Brotherhood
The BBB initiative began during the 2017-18 school year via the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Build-A-Library Program. Using funds from this grant, RE created an onsite literary nook featuring works that reflect the vast range of African American experience. The program now includes a literacy club led by adult male volunteers who inspire our students to improve their reading and writing abilities.
Boys don’t get to have all the fun! Lit Chics is a literacy club featuring female volunteers (Chiclits) who encourage reading and writing while serving as positive role models within our community.
Take a Student to College Day
On Take a Student to College Day, students get to shadow and attend class with mentors, hang out in the dorms, and glimpse what the college experience is all about. At RE, we recognize the college path is not for everyone, but by exposing youth to such opportunities, it raises the bar and helps emphasize the importance of a post-secondary plan.
Career Speaker Series
Our Career Speaker Series supports all of the programs at RE, bringing in volunteers from a wide range of businesses to engage with students directly. By educating our youth about career opportunities, they’re exposing them to new possibilities and equipping them with the tools necessary to imagine different lives for themselves.
RE’s Makerspace is a creative learning center that contains tools for printmaking, 3D printing, graphic design, sewing, jewelry making, and electronic/technical skill-building. Our Makerspace serves as a community hub where students learn, design, and collaborate together while exploring STE(A)M-related career interests.