United Way Grants to Support Career Enrichment and 8th Grade Academy Initiatives

United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Logo

On the Road Collaborative was recently awarded two $10,000 collaborative grant awards for the 2016-2017 school year to support Career Enrichment programming and an 8th Grade Academy high school readiness initiative.

The first grant award supports our Career Enrichment Projects at our Skyline Middle School site and Second Home. OTRC Career Enrichment Projects are semester-long (10 weeks) projects that connect low-income middle school youth with a meaningful opportunity to learn about a wide-variety of careers in a hands-on way, sparking their passion and setting them on the path to college and career. Led by local professionals, Community Teachers, who serve as the experts in fields like healthcare, architecture, science and the arts, and supported by our trained educators, youth build new skills, create mentor-like relationships with caring adults from the community, and develop a vision for their future. The grant award will enable us to continue partnering with Second Home to bring our Career Enrichment programming to their middle school students, continuing a partnership that began this year thanks to the support of The Merck Foundation.

The second award supports a new 8th Grade Academy (8GA) in collaboration with Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) at Skyline Middle School for 20 8th grade youth. 8GA is a high school readiness and post-secondary college and career awareness program designed to prepare low-income and first-generation youth to successfully make the transition to high school. 8GA will meet 3 days per week afterschool and 1 Saturday per month for college visits. 8GA will have 5 key program elements (1-Academic Coaching; 2-Social-Emotional Development; 3-Writing; 4-School Navigation; 5-College & Career Awareness) that will empower youth with knowledge, skills and relationships necessary to be prepared for high school. The collaboration with Scholars Latino Initiative will consist of their high school scholars visiting 8GA bi-weekly to serve as role models and partnering on community service and college visits.