Participation and Leadership – George Washington Carver


Practice Overview

George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences (GWCHSS) employs an online platform of videos and resources that reflect the cultural experiences of young Black and Latino males. GWCHSS has found that this content is critical to recreating culturally-relevant educational connections among its targeted student population. School Advisors begin by watching the videos with students. Each video features a teen’s true experience about the challenges that Black and Latino male students face.

David Lockett was not the model high school student. Early in his high school career he did not have much faith in himself, nor did his teachers. But then something changed. A teacher took a chance on him, putting him in a leadership position as a teacher’s assistant and helping him to find activities and leadership roles inside and outside of the classroom that had meaning to him. “I probably would still be in high school or I would have dropped out,” David says. Hear more about how participation and leadership changed his confidence level and his life.

Online correlated Weekly Guides enable GWCHSS Advisors to quickly review and facilitate lesson plans, which include discussion prompts, self-reflection questions and student activities. GWCHSS has found that the Connect with Kids peer-to-peer model helps improve school climate and increase positive student behavior.

Sample Lesson Plan

Discussion and Self-Reflection Questions

  • In the video, David talks about the different schools he attended and the challenges of trying to fit in at school. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever reached out to anyone new to our school?
  • Academics aside, what are some of your interests inside and outside of school? How do you really like to spend your time? What groups or school activities might you like to get involved with?
  • How would you describe your strengths? What are you really good at? How would those skills benefit another individual or lead to a leadership role in a group?
  • What are some of the attributes or qualities you admire in a leader? List a few leaders (even if you don’t know them personally) and what you admire about them.

Activity: Leading the Way

Ask students to select a leader from today or from the past to research. This person could be involved in politics, industry, business, education, sports or philanthropy. When researching this leader, students should identify obstacles that the individual faced, influences and any information about who or what helped that person to overcome his or her challenges. Ask students to write a few paragraphs about this individual. Students can read aloud their summary paragraphs to the class to help others learn about their selected leader, as well.