We tailor our programs to meet the needs of the students, schools, organizations and communities we are serving. See below for examples of some of our customized programs.
Words Matter: Public Speaking Workshop
Haven Academy, Bronx, NY
Words Matter is L!FE's series of experience-based after-school public speaking workshops. Lasting 12 weeks, 5th and 6th graders at the Mott Haven Academy Charter School in the Bronx explored the power of words, audience, story telling and more through improvisation, theater games, personal writing, and individual & group presentations. Throughout the series students learned skills and techniques that put an emphasis on finding their own voice which culminated in a presentation of their work to an invited audience.
L!FE Summer Intensive,University Prep Academy, Detroit, MI
In this 6 day program, students learned how to lead forward from who they are, right now, into an ideation phase -- beginning with a problem they wish to resolve or an original business idea -- through to a fleshed out plan-of-action, including the cost of implementation, and subsequently into a proposal to confidently be pitched to a panel of members of the business community. Developed for high school students, program participants were exposed to core entrepreneurial concepts, including how to build on an idea and team to make it happen, and fundamentals of lean start-up methodology. The program also drew heavily from the theater arts using improvisation to foster confidence, motivation, and collaboration among the students and help them learn to create action-oriented solutions under conditions of uncertainty and time pressure.
In addition to classroom instructions, students made site visits to local businesses to participate in workshops, networking events, and have access to hands-on mentors during the creation of their project. The curriculum includes classes in product design, commercial business models, marketing and pricing strategies, team-building, networking, story-telling, and public speaking skills to learn how to communicate their business plans with distinction and in an engaging manner. The program culminates in a final presentation as students pitch their ideas to a panel of mentors, investors and community leaders.
The resulting exposure to new relationships within the community led to ongoing mentorships, potential seed-funding, and invitations to pursue development within Detroit incubators. Program participants' final projects included:
- Tech On Wheels: a fleet of mobile school buses providing homeless communities with access to computers and wifi.
- Pitch Day panelist arranged for Tech On Wheels Student-Founder to participate in an incubator to build Tech On Wheels' business plan. Another Pitch Day panelist offered to provide and coordinate funding.
- Believe It Can Be: an urban farm initiative transforming abandoned property into sustainable sources of food for the homeless.
- One panelist became a mentor for Believe It Can Be; while another panelist offered his support in securing the donation of farming materials; and a program instructor offered to connect the Student-Founders with local chefs to advise on sustainable food services (menu planning, preparation, storage, Health Department guidelines, etc.).
- Dynamite Theater Productions: a theater company dedicated to supporting Detroit writers, actors, and directors and produce original, Detroit-centric theater and film. A portion of proceeds to be allocated towards speech therapy and public speaking resources for people with speech impediments and/or public speaking phobias.
- First play written, received a table-read by the school’s drama department, and was selected to be the school’s year end production. Tony Award winning (Arts In Education) drama teacher has taken the student under her mentorship.
- Shadow Kids: A support group for students who are younger sibilings who struggle with sibling related issues, i.e. overshadowed by siblings or overcome by expectations based on a sibling’s previous behavior.
- UPA's CEO offered the opportunity to Shadow Kids’ Student-Founder to establish a Shadow Kids club at UPA