“Youth Leadership Summit”

The concept of early college high schools (ECHS) is booming nationwide. In this program, the students enter ECHS in their 9th grade and they have up to 5 years to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree from a community college. The schools are designed so that low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and other young people underrepresented in higher education can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree or up to two years of credit toward a Bachelor’s degree—tuition free.

Houston Community College (HCC) has been operating a total of five Early College High Schools (ECHS) in partnership with HISD and Alief Independent School District and has been continuously seeing a trend that ECHS students are academically out-performing the regular HCC students.

However, there exists a great opportunity to prepare these underrepresented young students with leadership skills. With National Diversity Council as an anchor, we can begin with a one-day Leadership development workshop at these schools to instill valuable leadership insight into young adults who aspire to be strong and effective leaders to impact people’s lives in terms of professional and societal achievements. By having leadership development, we can make a big difference in the lives of these good, hard-working students as they get ready to handle the workforce and employment challenges of the 21st century.