Over a decade of working alongside youth as a volunteer-led organization when starting, The Gem Project has impacted thousands of lives to promote access, through student civic engagement, service and educational workshops.
Today we work to boost high school student engagement, through service-learning initiatives that take on a social justice approach, offering school year and summer programming.
Highlights within the last 6 months:
High school fellows received over 40 hours of training across 7 weeks, working alongside our college fellows to address the school to prison pipeline with over 60 campers in Newark, NJ. They supported 60 campers in putting together a monologue play during our summer employment program, in partnership with the City of Newark's Summer Youth Employment Program.
95.41% of camp participants who were assessed for social emotional learning competencies, showed exemplary results in achieving growth mindset.
100% of camp participants showed marked “grit” behavior in goal-setting through company-wide summative assessment.
Provide $1,000 Gem Fellow Awards for graduating high school students, who has passion for public service, social justice and equity. Preference is given to those who have plans to continue service beyond graduation working in (but not limited) to fields like social work, public service, education, youth development, and criminal justice.
Immersive Leadership Experiences: Provided youth with all expense paid opportunities to Cambridge, MA where they participated in Case-Study excercises, tours, resume reviews, and leadership conferences at Harvard University.
During the fall, fellows are participating in 64+ hours of critical service-learning projects, while examining root causes of social issues and addressing them through the lens of Art Activism.
Develop a social change orientation: call-to-action
Examine systemic issues and policies that directly impact said issues
Strengthen their youth voice and responsibility, while working alongside and not for program staff, other fellows, and key stakeholders
Engage in life skill workshops that are focused on financial literacy, time-management, early college awareness, post-secondary higher education or trade preparatory programs, and career exploration readiness programs.