Wilmington, Del. – Today, TeenSHARP, a college access and leadership development nonprofit, announced a new program called The Proximity Project (TPP), to close the gaps between community leaders and the people they serve.
The eight-week program will take place virtually this fall, to drive racial justice and inclusion efforts at institutions across the region. Participants must be leaders in education institutions or philanthropy.
“Research shows that many diversity trainings fail because attendees never get close enough to the people and issues they’re discussing,” says Atnre Alleyne, co-founder of TeenSHARP. “Proximity gives you the urgency to make schools inclusive. It also helps sustain your efforts over the long haul.”
Participants in TPP will meet for two-and-a-half hours every week to discuss assigned readings, complete organizational and leadership assessments, learn from guest speakers, and connect with other institution leaders working toward equity and racial justice.
“At a time when families are dealing with the pandemic and wrestling with how to create a racially just and equitable society, the Delaware Department of Education recognizes how important it is to be more proximate to our students and their needs,” said Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting.
The Delaware Department of Education will be represented in the Proximity Project’s inaugural cohort.
“We’re excited about this new opportunity from TeenSHARP that will bring education leaders closer to communities of color and help us better serve all students,” Dr. Bunting said.
For over 10 years, TeenSHARP has worked closely with high schoolers in the Delaware Valley region to overcome historical barriers to higher education. Every TeenSHARP scholar is low-income, Black, or Latino, and program graduates go on to attend the nation’s top colleges.
Alleyne said the nonprofit’s unique expertise will help TeenSHARP support leaders who are looking to ensure their schools are affirming, empowering, and inclusive for students of color.
“TeenSHARP has students from almost every district, charter, and private high school in Delaware, plus dozens of schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” he said. “We’ve developed rare insight in terms of uplifting the needs and aspirations of students of color. We know that we cannot accelerate the pace of progress for historically marginalized and underserved students without a dramatic shift in mindsets, policies, and practices within our country’s school systems.”
Registration for TPP is open until August 25th. Those seeking to apply can learn more by visiting www.teensharp.org/tpp.
TeenSHARP is raising funds to cover the cost of participation in the program for a selected group of educators who otherwise could not afford to join the cohort.
Educators who would like to be considered for a sponsored slot in The Proximity Project can apply here .
About the The Proximity Project: The Proximity Project (TPP) is an eight-week cohort experience for leaders in education institutions (teacher, school, nonprofit, and district leaders) and education philanthropy who want to examine and reform how they interact with and serve communities of color. The Proximity Project is not an isolated, intellectual exercise— leaders connect closely with students, families, and community leaders whose truth and insights inform participants’ reflections and actions.
About TeenSHARP: TeenSHARP is a regional organization headquartered in Wilmington, DE that is on a mission to prepare talented low-income, African American, and Latino students to attend and thrive at the nation’s top colleges. This mission is in service of a bold vision that one day the diversity of those occupying our nation’s highly-skilled jobs and highest leadership positions will be as rich as the diversity of our population. Founded in 2009, TeenSHARP has evolved into a leading provider of innovative, at-scale college access and success support in the Delaware Valley region (including Delaware, Philadelphia, and southern New Jersey). TeenSHARP has achieved incredible results over the last ten years: 100% of TeenSHARP scholars successfully pursue a 4-year college education, with 95% of the scholars being admitted to selective colleges and universities every year.