How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?
Teachable moments (doing vs. telling) in the curriculum are set within the context of golf. Once participants recognize diversity between themselves and others, they learn to understand, accept, and appreciate their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as in those in others. One example is golf team competitions, where students choose team members based on complementary strengths, eg good putting, good strategist, good long drive, etc. Also by fostering an understanding in youth of how social barriers affect us, they become adept at recognizing them for what they are and not allowing them to impede their dreams and goals. Participants who are free and no longer afraid to express their passion develop into leaders of change.
Tell us about your partnerships
Partnerships include the Alisal Union School District and the Department of Defense (Navy and Army), which supply us with the raw material we need for our programming – participants. A new partner is King City Union School District, which expressed recent interest in our program. We chose to work with these partners because they have the highest need in our region, and are willing participants in the collaboration.
Teachers are under pressure to stay on track according to their school's master schedule, with the goal of raising STAR test scores. Most do not understand the value of our program, even though the Superintendents and Principals understand. Parents are not prepared to spend time with their children, which makes communication difficult. Due to fear of "administration" we find that 40% of our contact data for participants is falsified. Social and class barriers, and fear of change make parents hesitant to participate. We overcome these by example, and word of our success spreads.
Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?
encouraging philanthropy, creating a safe space, developing emotional competency, building leadership skills, group play, storytelling, immersion, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, instilling courage, enabling action.