Yleana Leadership Academy
The Yleana Leadership Academy, the flagship program of the Yleana Leadership Foundation, is a residential summer academy which serves rising high school seniors in urban areas (Baltimore, Boston/North Shore of MA, NYC, and Philadelphia) and seeks to close the achievement gap through a three-week transformative intervention summer SAT experience on a college campus. We are part college experience, part summer camp, part intense SAT training, and part leadership academy. In addition to SAT classes, students explore issues like race, class, and gender through our Issues curriculum, an open-forum discussion setting where they question these issues through readings by people like James Baldwin, Junot Diaz, bell hooks, and Sherman Alexie. We also help our students develop higher order/critical thinking skills through our Entrepreneurship class, which culminates in a one-day startup fair with entrepreneurs from all over the world advising the students all day until their crowning faceoff - a Shark Tank competition.
Yleana campers are typically low-SES, of color, and first-generation college students; all attend on full scholarship. Besides studying for the SAT, being part of Issues and Entrepreneurship classes, campers enjoy a traditional summer camp experience (complete with campfires and S’mores!) while becoming a part of a welcoming and introspective camp community. One of the greatest compliments we have received came from a student who had been in foster care and had faced significant obstacles at home who told us that Yleana was the first place she felt safe, where people truly cared about her.
In 2017, our average score improvement in a 3-week period was 160-180 points on the SAT. To learn more about us, check out our promotional video (which gives the look and feel of an Yleana experience): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzrQKbI37jg