CurrentlyTrending: Succeed 22

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Organization: 
CurrentlyTrending

City:

Philadelphia

State:

Pennsylvania
Organization Overview: 

Today in Philadelphia, the citywide graduation rate is just 67%. But in the Sharswood section of North Philadelphia where most of CurrentlyTrending’s students live, the graduation rate is a staggering 35%. This reality is unacceptable; we can and must do everything in our power to change it. 

CurrentlyTrending operates from the core belief that every child is born with unique gifts and the innate ability to succeed, and that too many children are not given the opportunity to identify and develop their unique gifts. Using current or retired professionals and college students, CurrentlyTrending will coach and tutor marginalized students attending underserved schools, who often do not have access to resources and guidance, to develop and implement a plan to finish high school and post-secondary school, and to launch a career aligned with their life’s purpose so that they can live free from poverty.

CurrentlyTrending, funded by private donations, began in the summer of 2018 with 24 rising 9th graders who attend high school in Philadelphia. At a three-day retreat, hosted by local universities and high schools, students and mentors established a supportive community, began to develop the leadership traits we’ll focus on throughout the program, and built a concrete understanding of what it means to successfully navigate high school, from earning credits to developing a post-secondary strategy.

Each year a new cohort of rising 9th-graders will join the program. At the end of each retreat, students are broken into cohorts of five, and each cohort is matched with a coach. University partners provide the tutors for the students.

CurrentlyTrending will also focus on parents, who were invited to attend the first day of the summer retreat in order to learn valuable information about the high school process and to focus on the success they wish for their children. CurrentlyTrending will continue to work side-by-side with parents throughout the year, helping them to advocate to ensure their child is given the support and resources they are entitled to from the School District of Philadelphia.

Based on their personalized plan, CurrentlyTrending will help each student identify, enroll in, and pay for a community-based activity aligned with their goals. Research suggests that students who are involved in an activity of interest on a regular basis are more likely to finish high school and succeed in life.

Coaches will check in with each student every week at school to monitor progress in their activities, coach them, and ensure they are on track to succeed in school and meet the goals they established for themselves in the summer. Students will revisit their goals and plans with their coaches at monthly gatherings dedicated to meeting and listening to speakers, taking college trips, and building community to ensure they are currently trending on the right path toward high school graduation in four years with a clear path to success and happiness.

Project Name: 
CurrentlyTrending: Succeed 22
Project Type: 
Marketing / Fundraising Plan
Project Overview: 

CurrentlyTrending has clear strengths in programming and leadership. Its founder and CEO is Linda Cliatt-Wayman, a 30+ year educator in Philadelphia whose success in leading challenging schools has been highlighted on ABC News, in her book, Lead Fearlessly, Love Hard, and in her TED Talk, which has been viewed over 1.8 million times. Cliatt-Wayman is joined in her work by many of the incredible educators she’s gotten to know over the years, who are generously donating their time as mentors, coaches, and program developers.

As a newly-formed 501(c)(3) operating in its first year, CurrentlyTrending has clear plans for programming and staffing but needs to develop plans for how it will spread the word about the work it is doing to prospective supporters, donors, families, schools, and other interested parties.

CurrentlyTrending’s project Succeed 2022 is seeking the creation of a clear, concise marketing and fundraising plan. The marketing and fundraising plan should include an overall messaging strategy, a compelling narrative description of the program, data on the current realities confronting low-income students in Philadelphia, a defined list of potential supporters, branded collateral material, and a clear timeline for execution.

According to the 2017 PEW report, Philadelphia is noted for being the poorest among the nation’s largest cities. The poor graduation rate is directly tied to that reality. Stakeholders are all those live and work in Philadelphia. If we are going to rid this city of that unwanted label, it must begin and end with investments in Philadelphia's most vulnerable youth.

Deliverable(s):

The Succeed 2022 project plan should include an overall messaging strategy, a compelling narrative description of the program, data on the current realities confronting low-income students in Philadelphia, a defined list of potential supporters, branded collateral material, and a clear timeline for execution.

The plan should appeal to a diverse set of stakeholders, including families, educators, philanthropists, and grantmakers. It should include measurable goals for engagement and fundraising and should be ready to execute. The plan may include print or digital advertisements, print collateral, and a social media strategy, among other possibilities. The plan should leverage the strong reputation built by CurrentlyTrending’s founder in her 32 years in education. Linda Cliatt-Wayman generates exposure through her dozens of speaking engagements each year, in addition to her television and radio appearances, published book, and popular TED Talk.

The prospects for the thousands of low-income high school students in Philadelphia are daunting. The educators at CurrentlyTrending have the knowledge, passion, and commitment to help students finish high school in four years on a clear path to success and happiness. They just need help garnering the support to let them do it.

Project Timeline:

Either timeline ending in April or July works for CurrentlyTrending

Contact Name:

Linda D. Cliatt-Wayman

Contact Email:

lcliattwayman@gmail.com

Contact Phone:

(215) 983-1197

Does your organization have funds available to support the student work? No

What is the maximum number of students that can work on this project?

There is no set number of students in mind to work on this project. I will leave that decision up to the Fels Lab Leadership.

How did you hear about Fels Lab?

My organization has had Fels student interns.

Anything else you would like us to know?

I had a very rewarding experience with my Fels Intern last year. She was very instrumental in

CurrentlyTrending's program development, allowing us to reach all of the program goals set in the first year of our 501c3 status.

Eligibility:

Full-time or Executive

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326
felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu

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