Miles Ahead Scholars: A New Solution to an Old Problem
Recently, Houston ISD kicked off a new program, the Miles Ahead Scholars Program, to tackle one of the most difficult problems in urban schools, improving academic outcomes for African-American boys. President Obama, when launching the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative said that improving the lives of young men of color is a moral issue. I worked to secure funding for the program during this year’s legislative session.
The Miles Ahead Program will begin with an initial group of 60, 9th and 10th-grade boys who show academic promise from Wheatley, Worthing and Kashmere High Schools. The program will follow these boys and future classes as they become men and complete their 12th grade year. The program has dedicated staff to allow the students to achieve the very high goals and expectations of the program.
The program focuses on forming cohorts or “posses” of male students with academic promise, but from high schools underrepresented among top colleges and universities. They will share academic classes, developmental programming and college and career counseling. Instructional specialists will ensure that the boys maintain a competitive GPA and are eligible and ready for college-level work. They will receive mentorship from men of color in the community who can share their personal and professional experiences with the students.
The program sets very high goals for the scholars. They are expected to take and pass AP exams so that they earn college credit in high school. They will participate in a professional internship so that they can experience the working world. Of course, the ultimate goal is for these students to attend and graduate from our nation’s top universities.
I look forward to watching these boys grow up to be young leaders in our community. I invite you to join in this program by serving as a mentor. If you are interested in becoming a mentor to one of these scholars, please contact my office to learn more about this rewarding opportunity.