The iAM Project aims to address the harrowing effects of socio-economic inequality upon social mobility and to break the poverty cycle for every young person who joins our Program. Driven by a desire to challenge the status quo, The iAM Project supports aspirational high school students from low-income backgrounds, to maximize their personal, academic and professional potential.
INSPIRATION ASPIRATION MENTORSHIP
The iAM Project leverages a network of inspirational speakers, academic and professional mentors, innovative links to industry, universities, and internship providers to foster the knowledge, skills and interests that will afford our scholars opportunities. Our success comes from high levels of strategic partnerships and, a collaboration around a shared, purpose.
INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER SERIES
The iAM Project’s Inspirational Speaker Series feeds a growth mindset. Our speakers encourage students to look beyond their immediate environment, to open their eyes, to consider unthought-of opportunities, and to broaden their horizons. Students hear stories from people who have walked in their shoes, who understand the challenges they face and who have overcome difficulties to beat the odds: “Yes, we can.” The Inspirational Speaker Series - hosted by our partners at Neumann University - happens three times per year: Spring, Summer and Thanksgiving. The primary audience is the 350-strong 9th-12th Grade student body of Chester Charter Scholars Academy.
Our inspirational Speakers have included:
Jimmy White IV, a national award-winning youth/veteran advocate, a TEDx speaker, a Leadership Philadelphia alumnus, and a GW Bush Center Presidential scholar.
Rich Kleinman, co-founder of 35V and Boardroom as well as long-time manager of Kevin Durant.
ML Carr, an American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA), and former head coach and General Manager of the Boston Celtics.
Renieal Campbell, a full-time student, army drill sergeant, former Miss PA Earth USA, and mentor.
THE ASPIRE PROGRAM
Scholars accepted into The Aspire Program will benefit from exposure to several departments of a major league sports team and our partners. Tastier sessions, ‘learn and explore’ workshops and two-week university residential culminate in a paid summer internship with scholars majoring in their chosen discipline. This experience is intended to focus a scholar’s mind on his/her next steps: university, trade school or a high quality apprenticeship.
COMBATTING SOCIO-ECONOMIC INEQUALITY
We are driven by a strong moral purpose to prevent the subsequent waste of talent and potential in our young scholars. Working with our education partners, rising juniors explore a wide variety of academic areas available at university through a two-week pre-college workshop. Supplementary SAT preparation and practice tests will be provided for all sophomores and juniors in the Aspire Program.
Union Internships, each student works in the Union front office and shadows someone for 2 weeks. They experience what it is like to attend work meetings, view and contribute towards the development of the inner workings of a professional Major League Soccer team. They are provided the resources to help them create and present at the end of the 2 weeks and carry with them the experience of this valuable in person mentoring.
Underpinning this final stage, each 12th grade scholar is personally mentored and coached through the college, apprenticeship or trade school application process by volunteers who have been hand-selected by our leadership team.