- Fulton County Schools
Centennial Mentoring Builds Confidence and Connections
At Centennial High School, Community Collaboration and Student Achievement are more than checkmarks on the Strategic Plan: they are part of students’ everyday lives. For 27 students in particular, community collaboration takes the form of a mentoring group.
The Centennial High Ladies of P.O.W.E.R. (Purposeful, Open-minded, Worthy, Excellent, Resilient) are 9th-12th grade students who need support academically, socially, and/ or behaviorally. The young women have been assigned grade-level groups which meet with staff mentors twice a month. In addition, they have guest speakers from the community once a month.
Led by Assistant Principal Nikkole Flowers, the Ladies of P.O.W.E.R. cover topics like college, self-esteem, and dealing with conflict. The current cohort is part of a two-year commitment that started in December 2017. Ms. Flowers, who has been nominated for the Atlanta Families’ Award for her work with the group, believes that these young women “need support in their corner.” Their monthly team-building sessions aim to introduce the participants to a wide range of activities and discussion topics they might not otherwise be exposed to, including conflict resolution, Zumba classes, photography, and golf lessons, all from members of the community donating their skills and time. “It’s a passion of mine to work with the girls to provide support and meaningful experiences I didn’t get at their age,” said Ms. Flowers.
At a recent Ladies of P.O.W.E.R. meeting, guest speaker and clinical social worker Shanna A. Jefferson led a lively discussion about how to turn adversity into greatness, covering weighty topics from self-esteem to the weariness of being stereotyped.
Breeunna, a sophomore, has enjoyed her time with the group so far. “I learned how to get along with others by communicating and sharing our feelings,” she said.
Ms. Flowers has plans to have the current cohort mentor future cohorts after their two-year commitment, and possibly even after, as these Ladies of P.O.W.E.R. go on to take their place in the community. Strengthening these relationships between the students and the community supports the Fulton County Schools strategic plan pillar of improving student achievement, as well as fostering community collaboration.