In the Educational Advocacy Program, each student is matched with an educational advocate based upon interests and experience. Students are referred by Turning Points for Children, a partnering Family and Youth services Community Umbrella Agency that provides services for DHS involved families. An educational advocate must conduct monthly visits with the student that create an opportunity to bond and to set goals. These visits could take many forms including meeting in a coffee shop, meeting at a museum, scheduling a school visit, scheduling a visit to learn more about a particular program, having lunch, or other relationship-building activities. Each educational advocate has a yearly stipend of $250 to cover the costs of these activities. In addition to visits, educational advocates must commit to calling or emailing their client on a monthly basis with the goal of bi-weekly contact.
In addition to visits, educational advocates are required to attend five training sessions organized by My Sister’s Keeper Collective that will occur every other month beginning in August. These five sessions include:
The Educational Advocate Program
Turning Points for Children supports families in raising safe, healthy, educated and strong children by partnering with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities and by offering them the tools, skills and resources they need to ensure their children's optimal development.
Session 1: How to build an effective relationship with your client and her caregiver – August 23, 2015
Session 2: Navigating Philadelphia high school applications - September 23, 2015
Session 3: Navigating social service resources in Philadelphia – October 25, 2015
Session 4: Know your rights: protections for students facing school discipline - November 15, 2015
Session 5: Instilling a life-long love for education and individual excellence – January 31, 2015
The educational advocate will be responsible for educating the client based upon the information learned during the sessions as relevant to the client’s needs and in an age appropriate-way.
Objectives for the educational advocate are:
· understanding and empowering the student on her own terms
· coordinating educational resources
· collaborating with social supports provided by CUA Nine
· educating caregivers about available resources and modeling for the student and for the caregiver how to research and advocate to attain access to high quality education
Tasks of the educational advocate include:
· attending IEP meetings and report card conferences
· researching high schools and keeping track of application deadlines
· arranging opportunities to tour and visit schools and shadow current students
· identifying job and internship opportunities
· identifying after school programs and extracurricular activities
· identifying summer programming
· completing applications
· creating resumes
· beginning to plan for post-secondary education and job-readiness
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an advocate, please email Lenora.firstname.lastname@example.org.