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Leadership Council Program for High School Students


2015 Issue = Homelessness

2015 Partner = Upward Bound House

Syllabus for 2015-2016


Each session of ULead will begin with socializing and a light dinner (provided by KidUnity) starting at 6:00pm.  The program will start at 6:30pm and conclude by 8pm. If possible, and as appropriate, we hope to invite guest speaker, clients and/or agency staff to join light dinner.  


Meetings will begin with a 5-10 minute presentation by an Upward Bound House (UBH) staff member about what’s happening at UBH - something that shows the day-to-day issues, challenges and successes, as well as interesting anecdotes.


Meetings will generally touch on the following four areas:


A. Learning about Board Management - The group will spend time team building, establishing rules/norms for how the group will function and developing a deeper understanding of how a board of directors functions (roles on the board, committees, decision making processes, etc).

B. Learning about the Organization & the Broader Social Service Sector - The ULead board will hear from UBH staff or homeless experts about specific issues impacting the organization or general challenges affecting family homelessness.

C.  Student-Driven Project - Over the course of the program, students will work in small groups on self-directed projects to help the organization or address the broader issue of .  Each meeting will have time for the groups to discuss their projects.  


D.  Reflection - Meetings will wrap-up with engaging activities for the group and individuals to review, process and reflect on the session in fun ways.


Session 1:  Meeting at Upward Bound House (UBH)

Introductions, orientation & overview of  homelessness in Los Angeles and UBH

  • Meeting with the Executive Director of UBH & UBH Clients

  • History of UBH, sharing of mission statement, etc

  • Tour & on-site project to learn about day-to-day operation of UBH

    • Food Pantry and Kids Night

    • Explanation of UBH in-take process and role playing exercise to help students empathize with homeless.

  • Introduction of student directed project #1 -  Home Run For Kids 5k/10k fundraiser


Session 2:  Meeting at UBH

Building a leadership team - board governance

  • Board roles & responsibilities, assigning roles to the group

  • Meeting with a member of the UBH Board of Directors

  • Running an effective board meeting (agendas / committees / subcommittees,).

  • Introduction of student directed project #2 - Kids Night

  • Develop student directed project #1 (Home Run for Kids)


Session 3:  Offsite Meeting at a Corporation / Foundation

Understanding fundraising and philanthropy  

  • Meeting with a philanthropist to better understand why / how they give

  • Meeting with UBH Director of Development to discuss funding sources & challenges

    • Overview of philanthropic climate/landscape (national, state, local)

  • Fund raising 101: How to approach a funder, use of social media in fund raising, fund raising trends, sources of funding (private, foundation, corporate, government)

  • Mock fundraising pitches/interviews

  • Further develop student directed project #1


Session 4:  Meeting at UBH

Non-profit finances 101

  • Learning to read financial statements

  • Discussion and debate of case studies in non-profit corporate finance

  • Discussion, debate, and student presentations about how to resolve challenging funding decisions

  • Students will form teams and design and implement a self directed project that will benefit UBH.


Session 5:  Meeting with local media partner

Public relations, advocacy, and civic awareness

  • Meet with local journalists / editor / reporters to discuss media coverage of homelessness

  • Develop public relations strategies to advocate for social change and promote the mission of UBH

  • Student directed project using social media for social change


Session 6:  Meeting at City Hall.

The role of government in addressing the homeless problem

  • Meet with elected officials to discuss current and future programs

  • Role of government in addressing community challenge (sate vs local vs national)

  • What is effective advocacy? What is the role of lobbyists in shaping policy and political agendas?

  • Student led policy/lobbying  project


Session 7:  Meeting at partner agency

Solving homelessness through partnerships

  • Meet directors of other service agencies that address homelessness.

  • Students discuss how UBH fits into the  larger eco-system of social service agencies.

  • Discussion and debate of executive director case studies and challenges that agencies face.   

  • Continue work on student led projects - Home Run For Kids, policy/lobbying, fundraising


Session 8:  Meeting at Upward Bound House

Group projects.

  • Student presentations to Executive Director

  • Reflections and discussion of what’s next


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