Campus News Georgia Impact

UGA partners with Clarke schools to launch Georgia Possible

Clarke County students do a team building exercise of making a bridge at the UGA intramural fields during the first session of the Georgia Possible youth leadership development program. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

The University of Georgia has partnered with the Clarke County School District to launch Georgia Possible, a new three-year pilot program focused on leadership development and college readiness for CCSD high school students.

The goal of Georgia Possible is to develop a cohort of Clarke County high school students to better prepare them for success in the classroom while also increasing their awareness of the variety of postsecondary options available beyond high school graduation.

The program was inspired by a series of meetings that UGA President Jere W. Morehead held with Athens-Clarke County community members and is being spearheaded by a team of faculty from CCSD, UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development and the Office of the President.

“I am delighted that the University of Georgia and the Clarke County School District have joined together to create this innovative program,” said Morehead. “As a land- grant institution, we are continually looking for ways to build on our relationship with community partners and help to ensure a bright future for students in our state.”

For the CCSD, this program is a win-win for the schools and the community.

“I am excited for our students to be involved in this important initiative with our partners at UGA. The district is enhancing the college and career readiness skills of every student under our care,” said Demond Means, superintendent of the CCSD. “We are thankful to the university for its willingness to partner with us to ensure that equity and greater access to postsecondary opportunities are provided through this supportive and encouraging program.”

The Clarke County students heard from UGA President Jere W. Morehead at the Visitors Center to kick off the Georgia Possible youth leadership development program. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Students selected to participate will make a three-year commitment to the program and will meet monthly throughout the school year to develop leadership skills, explore potential career opportunities, engage in academic guidance, and participate in community and cultural experiences. Discussion topics for the meetings will include effective communication, conflict and stress management, goal setting and understanding the college application process.

Additionally, students will be matched with mentors and will have the opportunity to tour different industries for an inside look at potential careers. An added bonus of the program is that parents and families of the participants will be engaged throughout the program, attending bi-monthly meetings to monitor their students’ progress and to learn more about postsecondary opportunities.

“The students selected for Georgia Possible will not only benefit from this unique learning experience over the next three years, but they will also serve as role models and mentors for their classmates,” Means said. “The reach and impact of this partnership will extend well beyond the students in the program, influencing countless young people and their families across our district.”

Georgia Possible is the result of a collaborative effort across the UGA campus which includes the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Office of Community Relations and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Demond Means’ name.