Working Together to Develop Our Future
We have two in-school programs, the Foundational Year and our Leadership and Empowerment Course. Read more below.
What we do
SPEAK Mentorship helps combat economic marginalization of immigrant families while furthering gender equity through the empowerment of immigrant girls to successfully pursue postsecondary pathways. SPEAK leads in providing an accessible and effective mentoring program for immigrant girls that utilizes a multi-pronged approach that holistically develops each mentee through exposure to multiple levels of support, instruction, and identity development.
Research Behind Our Work
Community connection moderates relations between school engagement and stress from adapting to new cultures (Ahmed, 2018). High school can be a challenging time with many developmental changes, and it is important we support a positive attitude about school for students and help them navigate stressful situations within school. Ming Ming Chiu et al. (2012) says “the school as a proximal context plays a key role in the assimilation of immigrant adolescents because it is often the first social and cultural institution that immigrant children face outside of their homes. Immigrant students spend most of their day in school to learn and develop their cognitive and social skills for future participation in the adult world; therefore, we would expect a student’s school to play a key role in their psychological well-being.” Frosso Motti-Stefanidi links school engagement to school success saying “Since the future of immigrant youths is inextricably linked to that of the receiving society, the success of their trajectory through school becomes a high stakes issue both for the individual and society...Findings suggest that, for both immigrant and non-immigrant youths, the relationship between school engagement and school success is bidirectional, each influencing over time the other.” This is why we work with schools as partners in this work.
Our Foundational Year Model
We make schools more inclusive by bringing culturally responsive career professionals directly within the school day, developing the self-efficacy and confidence of diverse students, increasing school engagement, class participation rates, and making school curriculum more relevant, when mentors help mentees connect what they learn to real life experiences in their career field of choice. Through the development of an in-school peer community, and exposure to multiple career professionals, students gain on many fronts, all resulting in academic gains. Mentor Connectors, college interns, will help a school administrator with logistical implementation and provide girls with an additional layer of support.
Students are also taught to self-monitor their own development through our CLASS (Career Learning and School Selection) process, where they identify baseline metrics and track their exposure to new post-secondary pathways and their academic development. This enables students to focus on the goals they have set for themselves and understand their positioning to those goals.
Partner With Us To Help Your Students Succeed
The Foundational Year is a challenging but rewarding year for mentees, high school students in grades 9 - 11, and we want to work with you to help your students achieve their fullest potential. We will work with you to identify an advisory period or lunch period one day per week where students can meet with their mentors virtually, and will help with planning other logistical details to implement the SPEAK Chapter Club at your school. We seek your assistance in helping us identify the students who you feel would be most impacted by our program and ensuring their successful graduation from our program. Become a partner school today!
Read more about:
Leadership and Empowerment Course
Our Leadership and Empowerment course introduces and develops student leadership skills. During each of the 10 sessions, students analyze and learn a skill through the lens of diverse professionals from our Speaker Series and a related case study, combining leadership, career exposure, and critical thinking. This program supports early career exposure for up to 30 middle school or high school students over the course.
Leadership and Empowerment Course
Accountability - Balancing Commitments
Conflict Management - Internal and Interpersonal
Diversity and Inclusion
Non-Positional Leadership - Leading from Within
Defining Your Vision
The Importance of Listening
Social Media and Your Personal Profile
Leadership Essentials: Integrity, Empathy, Authenticity
Emotional Intelligence and Humility
SPEAK In Action
An Experience of Your Life
“Before I joined this program, there were a lot of things I wasn’t interested in — I didn’t even think about it. For example, I didn’t even think that college was that important, but now I know that it is an opportunity for me. A high school diploma and a college degree is really different. Mentors can even help you sort out your emotions and things that you’re stressed about. They will help you make good choices for your future and for your present, too.” Sayyora ‘18
The Right Path
“When I first joined SPEAK, I wasn’t expecting to be on a right path just through several months. After having meetings with my mentor, I’ve gained a major experience of success. I had understood what I am best in, and what future job I want to tie up my life with! You don’t have to start over to be on the right path—just find what you love and do it a lot because loving what you do is happiness.” Anastasiia ‘18 with one of her mentors, Executive Director at Estee Lauder at the 2018 SPEAK Summit.
“Through the SPEAK community, I have received the opportunity to meet young women like myself who aspire to have careers they eel are worth chasing and we have met career professionals who have mentored us on how we can reach our goals.” Ecstacy ‘18
The College Application and Decision Process
“This was especially helpful during the college applications and college decision process. I remember one of my mentors advising me to broaden my horizons and apply to liberal arts schools rather than all STEM schools. One of my mentors wrote a recommendation letter for me, which helped me get into the college of my dreams.” Shainu ‘16