Extended Leadership Academy (ELA) is offered to older students who have completed Extended Family for Kids and to students who have been identified as “at risk” by school counselors or are in a juvenile diversion program.  ELA provides lessons to children in personal leadership and covers three main topics including job readiness, health, and communication.  Students experience hands-on activities and hear presentations from experts in the community, professionals at the top of their field.  This school year, Extended Family led ELA for more than 360 students in 18 school groups and 7 groups in juvenile diversion programs.

We regularly conduct surveys to measure the impact of our Lessons.  For ELA, we conduct pre and post program surveys at the beginning and end of the 18-week series.  We are particularly interested in seeing what type of increase in understanding and proficiency students report in the areas of job readiness, health, communication, and leadership.

This school year, ELA groups explored many career options and were taught basic skills including writing resumes and preparing for job interviews.  We surveyed the students about their confidence levels before and after the Lessons with the question, “If you had a job interview today, do you feel confident you would get the job?”  In the pre survey, only 52% answered yes, compared with 68% in the post survey.

We discussed healthy relationships and good mental health.  For the survey question, “Are you able to identify the signs of a healthy relationship?” 76% answered yes in the pre-survey, compared to 87% in the post-survey.  Considering the question, “Have you learned ways to take care of your mental health?” 64% of respondents in the pre-survey answered yes, compared to 82% in the post-survey. 

Several ELA Lessons included information on effective communication, including the ability to express feelings of anger and other emotions without getting into trouble.  When asked, “Do you know healthy ways to manage your anger?” the number of students who answered yes in the pre-survey was 64% and increased to 72% in the post-survey.

Leadership skills are at the heart of ELA, which is expressed by our motto, “Lead Yourself.”  We saw the most dramatic improvements in the question, “Have you learned personal leadership lessons?”  In the pre-survey, 47% of students answered yes, compared to 70% in the post-survey.

Extended Family is proud to fulfill our mission “to offer help and inspire hope” for Our Kids through Extended Leadership Academy.  If you would like more information about ELA or our other programs, visit our website, www.extendedfamilyhelp.org, or contact us at info@extendedfamilyhelp.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *