DIG is built around 4-Strategic Pillars: Here is how we are making a difference in rural communities. (DIG is currently at work in Southern states where the need is greater, but will prioritize other rural communities based on the need.)
The Development pillar aims to produce confident, respectful and productive members of society with positive futures through Positive Youth Development (PYD), mentoring, and preparation. PYD provides opportunities for youth to increase their skills, confidence, and abilities.
Mentored girls and boys are 2 times more likely to be confident and believe that doing well academically is important.
“If young people have mutually beneficial relations with the people and institutions of their social world, they will be on the way to a hopeful future marked by positive contributions to self, family, community, and civil society .” “Some students make up their minds from an early age that they will not expand their education beyond high school.”
The Mentoring program will aid in improving social development of middle and high school age students by preparing them for life’s challenges, adversities, and rewards. Mentors will meet regularly with mentees in person or through virtual mentoring (FaceTime, Skype, telephone, and social media). This method is nontraditional but will be an equal or more effective means to ensure constant communication, and open avenues for mentees to be partnered with mentors outside of the community. The Mentoring program provides a platform to make successful and positive role models readily accessible to the youth for guidance, leadership and mentoring. Participants will be matched with a positive role model to aid in there development throughout their teenage years.
Mentors will engage in frequent phone conversations and visits, and have regular involvement in the mentees educational and life decisions. DIG’s mentors will not only encourage higher education, but expose them to college life through college tours, and attending college academic and sporting events. Mentors will also attend monthly field trips with their mentees to museums, zoos, parks, and colleges with objectives to motivate, encourage, build confidence and strengthen their personal connections with the mentee.
“No dream is too big and all things are possible with hard work, self-belief and determination… if you can imagine it you can achieve it”.
We our focus on the development of our participants strengths, natural gifts and talents. Positive Youth Development principles allow us to explore the potential and capacity of each individual youth, rather than focus on their inabilities. We inspire young people to Dream Big, and explore their imaginations. DIG provides the guidance and resources to help make those dreams a reality.
The first step to accomplishing any goal is to have a plan. We help individuals define their goals, and develop a written plan to aid in accomplishing their dreams and goals. The plan is built around the members’ own personal dreams, goals and aspirations. We encourage and motivate participants to be responsible for their own development. Each individual is responsible for doing the research, gaining the knowledge, building a network, and executing their plan to achieve there goals. Each plan will have milestones that will be evaluated quarterly by mentors and or directors.
College graduates earn 84% more over a lifetime than high school graduates.
Higher education and social development indirectly improves economic development. DIG provides the principles and resources to aid in economic development through our education and social development programs.
We are focused on educating the community on the importance of higher education and training, and the importance of understanding finances, saving, budgeting, and debt. Studies show that individuals with higher education have higher earning potential. Economic programs include but are not limited to financial workshops, presentations, and resume assistance.
“Communities thrive when members feel personally invested.”
DIG will provide a high quality service to the youth and community by aiding in social, economic and community development. DIG aims to increase and establish a sense of community by providing a resource that gives community residents and local businesses an opportunity to play a major role in developing their own youth and community through volunteer efforts. When young people are supported across all sectors of the community (schools, faith organizations, businesses, etc.) the more they become engaged in their own development. DIG Community service programs include but are not limited to resume writing, financial workshops, health awareness, community beautification, networking socials, banquets, and community service award recognition.
An average of 3 million students drop out of school annually. “What can we do to provide that opportunity for the American Dream regardless of your Zip code and circumstances,” Valerie Jarrett, an Obama senior adviser, said in an interview the fall of 2014. “We need to make sure that we don’t lose them to the criminal justice system and [that we] provide them with pathways back into the classroom — since we all know that a good education is a path to economic self-sufficiency.”
DIG will provide an after school program to Tutor (Math, Science, Writing) and help with homework. DIG will partner with local school officials to better understand the youth’s individual needs to provide necessary tutoring in the subjects where help is needed.
In the summers months DIG will seek out enrichment activities and creative projects for students to engage in. DIG will also provide continuing tutoring in the subjects where participants may need extra work or would like to challenge themselves further.
By demystifying the processes surrounding attending college we will prepare our youth for higher education. We will arrange college visits for students allowing them to gain a familiarity with higher education opportunities.
Begin standardized preparation activities through partnering with local educators, seeking out tutoring and provide access to SAT / ACT prep materials. DIG will bring in mentors to specifically address these topics with students.
Provide resources and walk through the FAFSA process with students as well as their guardians.
NCAA Clearinghouse (http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp)
DIG will seek opportunities to provide students with scholarships directly from the organization as well as provide resources to existing opportunities.
DIG will provide essay writing seminars to include best practices and writing techniques.
88% of students said Job shadowing help them realize the importance of staying in school.
When students are presented with real reasons for learning math, grammar or science, they begin to make a connection between school and work. Experiences like this reduce school drop outs and help participants realize the importance in what they are learning.
The highlight of this program is the mock job interview. The participant will take part in a mock job interview as if they were a candidate for a position. After the interview the interviewer will critique the interviewee highlighting the positive areas of the improvement: body language, speech, business etiquette, etc.
“26 million U.S. jobs required a high degree of knowledge in at least one STEM field in 2011”
“26 million U.S. jobs required a high degree STEM education is a national priority and the DIG Development Program will seek to support that by placing a higher priority on STEM education as we believe these skills are the most needed in today’s workplace and provide the best opportunity for the youth to excel.
Our nation needs to better educate our students in the core areas and DIG seeks to place a strong emphasis on hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities, such as learning about the engineering design process, working directly with STEM professionals through job shadowing and mentoring opportunities. DIG participants will also take tours to STEM factories, facilities and colleges.
1 in 3 children in the U.S are obese.
Childhood obesity continues to be a nationwide epidemic and the DIG Develop Program will emphasize healthy lifestyles for its participants.
Through partnerships with local community health resources DIG will provide health education to its participants. Through a straightforward and common sense approach the emphasis will be on healthy eating habits and the promotion of an active lifestyle.
Support already established community sports activities through sponsoring of youth sports teams.
Sponsor charity events such as walk/run events, sports activities such as basketball, softball, flag football, etc.