High School Achievers

Mumbai (June – July 2020)

 
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.
 
The program is divided into two modules: Module I (YLAC sessions) and Module II (live NGO project supervised by YLAC). In Mumbai, Module I sessions will be held at the Victoria Memorial School (VMSB) in Tardeo and Module II sessions at the Rise Mumbai co-working in Lower Parel, with some travel for field visits. Interested candidates can opt for either Module I or Module I and II together.
 
See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications
 


 

Schedule

 

Module Dates Venue
Module I 13 – 20 June (1 Week) VMSB, Tardeo
Module II 21 June – 04 July (2 Weeks) Rise Mumbai, Lower Parel
Module I
Module II

Identity and Privilege

Saturday June 13



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Who are you? How have your personal experiences shaped the way you perceive the world? Do you recognize your privileges?

Equality and Justice

Sunday June 14



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Why are there so many disparities around us? What should a ‘just’ society entail?

Field Visit

Monday June 15



Venue: To be decided
Time: 9 am to 1 pm

Democracy, Constitution and the Government

Tuesday June 16



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Why did humans get together to form the government? What role does it play in shaping society and how can you engage with it?

Break

Wednesday June 17

Tools of Advocacy

Thursday June 18



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

What can you do to make other people care? How should you build support for your cause?

Businesses and Social Good

Friday June 19


Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Do businesses only make profit? How do businesses move the society forward?

Group dynamics & Leadership – Module I Closing

Saturday June 20



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Why do some teams deliver and others don’t? How can you channelize your energy to lead change?

Break

Sunday June 21

Live Project (Module II)

Week 1 June 22 - 26




  • One field visit during the week
  •  

  • Two half-day sessions in Lower Parel (mentorship by YLAC)
  •  

  • Work from home (remote collaboration with team members on research & writing)

Break (Module II)

Saturday - Sunday June 27 - 28

Live Project (Module II)

Week 2 June 29 - July 03


  • One field visit during the week
  •  

  • Two half-day sessions in Lower Parel (mentorship by YLAC)
  •  

  • Work from home (remote collaboration with team members on research & writing)

Reflections – Module II Closing

Saturday July 04



Venue: VMSB, Tardeo
Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Reflections on new perspectives
 
Thoughts on how we can stay engaged with the communities we live and work in

See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications

 


 

Deadlines

Scholarships deadline: 1st March, 2020 (Sunday)

Final deadline: 19th April, 2020 (Sunday)
 
Applications to the High School Achievers program shall be processed on a rolling basis. Typically, applicants will be informed of the admissions decision within 3-4 weeks of their candidature being filed. Some applications may be also waitlisted and the concerned candidates shall be informed of the admissions decision with a revised timeline within the window indicated above.
 
Candidates applying for scholarships must ensure that both their program and scholarship applications reach us on or before the first deadline – 1st March, 2020.

 
See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications
 


 

Project Work

 

The High School Achievers program is designed as an experiential learning program. Module II of the program provides students with an exciting opportunity to apply their learning by engaging in live projects for partner organizations.

YLAC works with NGO partners engaged with different developmental and social issues such as environment, gender, education, health, etc. Typically, a team of 3-4 fellows is tasked to work on each project.
 

Structure of Module II

Module II 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.

The Module is structured as follows:

  • Meet-ups: Students meet twice each week for a period of 3-4 hours. YLAC program managers work with the students during this time to guide their projects.
  • Field Visits: Students go on 1 or 2 study visit(s) to make field observations and collect data.
  • Work from home: Apart from field visits and meet-ups, students continue to work remotely on their projects. Research, analysis and writing work is undertaken from home and students are not required to be physically present at NGO offices.


Time Commitment

 
On average, a student is expected to commit about 40 hours per week during Module II.

 
Students must ensure that they are based in the city during the entire duration of the project. Attendance is mandatory for all team meet ups and field visits.

See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications
 


 

Fees & Scholarships

 

Program Fee

 
Module I (YLAC sessions only):   Rs. 22,000 (+ GST @18%)

Module I and II (YLAC sessions and live project):   Rs. 35,000 (+ GST @18%)
 

The fee shall be payable only after an applicant has been selected into the program. In addition to the cost of the program, the fee shall cover lunch and refreshments during the in-class sessions. However, costs of local accommodation and travel shall have to be borne by the applicants themselves. The program is not residential and applicants are expected to make their own 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 100% 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 2020 edition of the High School Achievers program, up to six applicants will be offered scholarships in each city. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit additional details here.
 

See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications
 


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should I consider joining?

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 the program duration?

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.

5. Is the program residential?

The High School Achievers program is not designed as a residential program. Students travelling from other cities are expected to make their own stay arrangements.

In the past, we have had several students join us from other cities within India and abroad. In such cases, students often stay in the program city with either friends or family.

6. Is there a pick-up & drop facility?

Students are expected to make their own arrangements for travel to and from the venue. At our end, we try and select program venues that are centrally located and easily accessible via public transport. Often our students pool with others travelling from their part of town. We usually help facilitate pooling once the cohort has been finalized.

7. What is a live 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.

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 with a project of their choice, but a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed.

8. Does everyone have to do a project?

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).

9. Who are the project partners?

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.

10. How much time do I commit for projects?

On average, a student is expected to commit about 40 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.

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.

11. How is the project supervised?

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.

12. Is HSA a conventional classroom?

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.

13. Who facilitates 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.

14. What is the class size?

Typically, the class size is 35-45 students.

15. Is attendance compulsory?

Yes, attendance at the sessions is mandatory. 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.

16. Do I get a certificate? Are there any specific requirements for graduation?

Yes, students are given a certificate of successful completion at the end of the program. Successful completion requires regular attendance at the program as well as active and constructive participation in sessions. In addition to the above, students opting for Module II are required to complete the assigned project work to the satisfaction of the facilitators. Their final submission must be rigorous and well presented; it must meet the highest standards of quality.

Each student's contribution to the sessions as well as the project work is closely monitored by the facilitators and this serves as an important determinant for graduation from the program. Outstanding students are also separately recognized.

17. 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 30 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 15 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.

 
See:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Project Work   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs   |   Applications