High School Achievers

Mumbai (June-July 2018)

 
The YLAC High School Achievers program is a summer boot camp. Designed as a mix of exercises, lectures, group work and field visits, the program presents a unique platform for students to develop their critical thinking skills and hone their leadership potential. It also gives them an opportunity to apply their learning by working directly on live projects for partner organizations.

The program is divided into two modules: Module I (YLAC sessions) and Module II (two week live project supervised by YLAC). Module I sessions will be held at the Central Hall of the Victoria Memorial School in Tardeo and Module II sessions at The Garage in Lower Parel, with some travel to the office/ project site of the allocated partner organization. Interested candidates can opt for either Module I or Module I and II together.
 
For details, please see:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs

 


 

Schedule

 
To read more about the content covered in the different sessions, please see key segments here.
 

Module I
Module II

 

Date Theme Sessions
16th June

(Saturday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Identity and Privilege Session 1:

1. Introductions

2. Rules for creating a safe space for respectful/judgement free communication

3. Discovering yourself through identity maps

 

Session 2:

1. Privilege walk

2. What if you were someone else?

3. Have you read Gandhi’s talisman?

17th June

(Sunday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Equality and Justice Session 3:

1. Disparities around us and their origins

2. Poverty

3. Equality and justice – the concepts

 

Session 4:

1. Theories of justice

2. Policies that attempt to promote these ideals

FIELD VISIT – Monday, 18th June
19th June

(Tuesday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Democracy, Constitution and the Government Session 5:

1. Government, its origins and forms

2. Three pillars of democracy – Executive, Legislature and Judiciary

3. Three tiers of government – Centre, State and Municipal

 

Session 6:

1. External speaker: The role of the government in shaping society

2. Channels of communication with the government

BREAK – Wednesday, 20th June
21st June

(Thursday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Tools of Advocacy Session 7:

1. Case studies

2. The power of information in advocacy

 

Session 8:

1. Building a story of SELF, US and NOW (Marshall Ganz)

2. Tools of social media

22nd June

(Friday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Businesses and social good Session 9:

1. Do businesses only make profit?

2. Potential benefits of capitalism – does it move the society forward?

3. Introducing the concept of markets and efficiency

 

Session 10:

1. Case studies

2. Do markets ever fail?

3. What lessons does economics hold for policy makers?

23rd June

(Saturday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Group dynamics and Leadership Session 11:

1. Working in teams

2. Why do some teams deliver and others don’t?

 

Session 12:

1. What is your leadership style?

2. Channelizing your energy to drive change

BREAK – Sunday, 24 th June (End of Module I)
25th June – 29th June

(Monday – Friday)

Venue: Bandra/ Lower Parel area

Live Project Elements:

1. Remote collaboration

2. Two co-working sessions (at The Garage in Lower Parel)

3. One field visit

BREAK – Saturday & Sunday, 30th June & 1st July
2nd July – 6th July

(Monday – Friday)

Venue: Bandra/ Lower Parel area

Live Project Elements:

1. Remote collaboration

2. Two co-working sessions (at The Garage in Lower Parel)

3. One field visit

BREAK – Saturday, 7th July
8th July

(Sunday)

9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Reflections, culminations Session 13:

1. Debrief on project work

 

Session 14:

1. Reflections on learnings and new perspectives

2. Closing: Thoughts on how we can stay engaged with the communities that we live and work in

Program ends

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Deadlines

 
Deadline for scholarships: 31st March, 2018 (Saturday)

Final deadline for submitting applications: 30th April, 2018 (Monday)

 
Applications to the High School Achievers program will be processed on a rolling basis. Typically, applicants will be informed within three weeks of submitting the application online. Please note that the number of applications usually far exceeds the number of seats available. Therefore, you are encouraged to apply early.

Please also note that candidates applying for scholarships must adhere to an earlier deadline. Both their program and scholarship applications should reach us on or before 31st March, 2018.
 
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Project Work

 
The High School Achievers program is designed as an experiential learning program that rests on the philosophy of learning by doing. While Module I of the program aims to broaden the perspective of students and familiarize them with the roles that different actors (government, civil society and businesses) play in society, Module II engages students in live projects for partner organizations and provides them with an opportunity to apply their learning.

Projects are sourced from YLAC’s NGO partners working on various developmental and social issues such as environment, gender, education, health, etc. Projects may include assisting the assigned partner with research, advocacy, fundraising, content or curriculum development, etc. depending on the nature of work being undertaken and the partner’s need at the time. Typically, a team of 3-4 fellows is tasked to work on each project.

Partners and projects usually get finalized about a fortnight before the program begin. Details of partners from the previous editions of the program can be accessed here.
 
Methodology

Students meet twice each week for a period of 3-4 hours at a co-working space for coordination. YLAC program managers work with the teams during these co-working sessions to supervise and guide their projects. YLAC also arranges 1 or 2 field visit(s) to the office/ project site of the assigned partner, as required by the project. Apart from field visits and team meet-ups, students continue to work remotely on their projects; they are not required to be physically present at the partners’ offices. The final reviewed output is submitted to the partner NGOs at the end of the program.

This model of project work has been designed keeping in mind the high level of supervision required by high school students and the constraints of regular offices to accommodate these requirements. The contribution of each student is closely monitored by YLAC as well as peer-evaluated by the members of the team. High School Achievers are expected to pick up teamwork, communication, research and interpersonal skills at the end of their projects. Partner organizations certify students’ contribution to the project on successful completion.
 
Time Commitment

On average, a student is expected to commit about 25-30 hours per week to their project, in addition to the time spent in co-working sessions and field visits. Co-working sessions are slotted in conversation with teams and each team is required to attend a total of 2 co-working sessions of 3-4 hours in each week. In addition, students must budget one day per week for a field visit. This would add up to a total of about 40-45 hours per week during Module II.

Students must ensure that they are based in the city during the entire two weeks of Module II. Attendance for all team meet ups and field visits is mandatory for successful completion. No exceptions will be entertained.
 
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Fees & Scholarships

 
Fees

Module I (YLAC sessions only):   Rs. 20,000 per participant (excluding GST @18%)

Module I and II (YLAC sessions and live project):   Rs. 32,000 per participant (excluding GST @18%)

Fees will be payable after the applicant is selected into the program.

YLAC will make arrangements for lunch and refreshments during the in-class sessions. Applicants travelling from other cities should make their own boarding and lodging arrangements.

 

Scholarships

We recognize that all deserving candidates may not have the means to fund their participation in the program. To support such candidates, YLAC will offer need and merit based scholarships. Scholarship amounts will range between 25% and 75% of the total program fee. YLAC will decide on the quantum of support based on its assessment of the applicant’s merit and need.

For the 2018 edition of the High School Achievers Program, up to six applicants will be offered scholarships in each city. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit an additional essay explaining how they plan to use the learning from the program and why they need a scholarship, as well as a short letter of recommendation from a teacher at school.

 
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
1. Should I consider joining the High School Achievers program?

The High School Achievers program is designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and explore their leadership potential. It widens their perspective by giving them exposure to liberal arts, especially debates in philosophy, political science, sociology and economics. Field visits and projects give students an opportunity to directly engage with communities, apply their skills to address social issues and enhance their learning.

The broader aim of the High School Achievers program is to inspire people to think about their social context and to find their purpose in the larger society – be it in the public sector or the private. The exposure also helps students strengthen their profile, build a stronger resume and open up avenues and opportunities for higher education.

Still have questions? See this short video where the founders of YLAC speak about the High School Achievers program.

2. Am I eligible to apply?

If you are studying in grades 9th to 12th and are no more than 18 years of age, you are eligible to apply. Students who are moving into class 9th or those who have just completed their class 12th exams are also eligible.

3. What are the selection criteria?

We look for talented students who wish to change the world around them. There are no prerequisites as such. Students are selected on the basis of their responses to the questions in a short application form.

4. What is a live project? Is everyone required to do a project? Do I get to choose my project?

The High School Achievers program has a two week ‘live’ project built into the schedule. The aim of the project is to help students apply their learning to real life problems and get hands-on experience. ‘Live’ implies that the output of the project feeds into/ supports the ongoing campaigns and initiatives of our partner organizations. Projects are result-oriented and tightly managed by the YLAC team to ensure the most enriching experience for our students.

Signing up for the project is not mandatory. While applying to the High School Achievers program, students have a choice to pick between Module I (YLAC sessions only) and Module I and II (YLAC sessions and project).

A team of 3-4 students works on one project. In terms of the assignment of projects, we seek preferences from students and try our best to match students to a project of their choice, but a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed.

5. What kinds of organizations does YLAC partner with?

We establish partnerships with prominent NGOs and social enterprises that work across a range of subjects and social issues such as education, health, women and child rights, environmental and wildlife protection, livelihoods generation and urban governance. During Module II, students work to assist the partners in their ongoing projects and campaigns.

You can read more about the organizations that partnered with us during the previous editions here.

6. How do projects work and what is the level of time commitment required? How closely is my work supervised?

On average, a student is expected to commit about 40-45 hours per week during Module II to his/ her project. The bulk of the project work can be done remotely at one’s convenience, except for the weekly co-working sessions and field visit.

Projects are tightly managed and YLAC program managers work with the teams during the scheduled co-working sessions to supervise and guide their projects. YLAC also arranges for field visit(s) to the office/ project site of the assigned partners, as required by the project.

While students are not required to be physically present at the partners’ offices, they must ensure their presence in the city during the entire two weeks of Module II. Attendance for all team meet ups and field visits is mandatory for successful completion.

Please click here if you would like to know more about YLAC’s project supervision and methodology.

7. What is the duration of the overall program?

The overall duration of the program is three weeks.

However, your engagement will depend on the modules you pick. Module I is a week long program of YLAC sessions and field visits. Module II includes a two week project for a partner organization. You can opt for either Module I, or Module I and II together.

8. How is the program taught? Is it a conventional classroom setting?

Not at all! Our methodology is anything but conventional. Our teaching methods are not the usual chalk and duster lectures; we use role-plays, group exercises, peer evaluations, videos and games to make the classroom come alive.

At YLAC, we believe that learning should not be boring and we invest a lot of time and effort in making sure that we deliver on that promise! You can watch some of our student’s testimonials from the previous editions here to see how they enjoyed the program.

9. Who is going to facilitate and teach the sessions?

The sessions are taught and facilitated by the YLAC team, including the founders. During the course of the program, a number of external speakers are also invited to interact with our students, and engage with them on a range of issues and subjects.

For the profiles of the external speakers who have interacted with our students in the past, please click here.

10. What is the class size for the High School Achievers program?

Typically, the class size is 35-45 students.

11. Do I get any certificate for this program? Is attendance mandatory?

Yes, students are given a certificate of successful completion at the end of the program. Successful completion requires that a student not miss more than one day during the entire duration of the program. Special circumstances can be considered on a case by case basis, but approval must be sought from YLAC facilitators in advance.

12. What is the refund policy?

In case any unforeseen circumstances prevent you from joining the program, you can request our office to initiate the refund process. YLAC will refund 100% of your payment if the request is received 15 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 7 days before the program, the refund amount shall be 50% of the payment received. YLAC shall not be able to issue any refunds in case the intimation reaches us at a shorter notice.

 
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