There will always be a segment of students that flourish in traditional classroom settings but too many of our underserved creative youth are being left behind. The idea of getting a grade doesn’t motivate them. They consume major drivers of our economy such as video games, social media and advertising daily. Yet, the gulf between becoming producers of these products and their day to day lives seems impossible to cross.
These students are often problematic for classroom teachers who are under constant pressure to raise standardized test scores. Their lack of motivation can translate into attendance and behavioral issues causing teachers to use a more punitive approach that ultimately pushes many students to give up on school altogether.
Creative media companies, who are serving an ever more diverse market, are experiencing a shortage of diverse creative talent. Only 15% of the people that participate in advertising are minorities; +80% are Caucasians. Creative tech companies like Facebook and Google have recently reported that only 5% – 6% of their work forces are comprised of non Asian minorities.
If we are going to address this issue, we have to create pipelines of talent where underserved creative youth can more readily identify and follow paths to success.
One teacher works with an average of 100+ students on a daily basis. By coalescing resources around teachers, E4 Youth is developing a scalable approach for underserved creative youth to flourish. Teachers receive a combination of creative college mentors, access to industry tours and events, curriculum, training, stipends and the ability to nominate students for other E4 Youth programs.
This combination of services allows teachers to become better facilitators of talent by keeping their students motivated and eager to attend school.
How It Works
E4 Youth works with area high school teachers to recruit and train creative college mentors that serve in the classroom as tutors and role models. Based on teacher’s needs, college mentors can assist either during or after school. Examples include assisting students in completing assignments, leading after school clubs, and helping organize events.
Over the past 6 years, E4 Youth has collaborated with journalism teacher David Robb (pictured center above) and video technology teacher Humberto Perez (right) in Pflugerville Independent School District. During that time, E4 Youth has provided mentors, field trips, internship opportunities and curriculum for nearly 1000 of their students.
“E4 Youth mentors are great role models that help my students understand that college and fulfilling careers are not out of reach for them. Students return from field trips and programs with renewed focus and motivation to succeed in school”.
– Humberto Perez, Pflugerville ISD Teacher
Partner, Sponsor or Become a Friend
Partners, Sponsors and Friends help fund programs, provide volunteers, host tours/job shadow experiences and hire qualified youth for internships. Find out more!