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.
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.
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.