BSTRONG – Black Scholars Together Reclaiming Our Natural Greatness

BSTRONG builds upon the student development initiated at our one-day culturally specific high school orientation event, “Middle Passage to Education conference (MP2Ed)” for Middle school youth and their families held each year in the Fall at REED College.

BSTRONG is an extracurricular program that improves academic outcomes for Black-identified youth via workshops and civic engagement opportunities. Students gain historical knowledge and community organizing skills that translate to academic excellence and life-long civic engagement.

Students will develop: 1) Positive cultural identities via Black History 101 by historian, Khalid El-Hakim, 2) Leadership & Personal responsibility as well as social change skills via local Black mentoring organizations who engage students year round 3) Planning skills, organization habits, and financial literacy courses via Black Educator Groups, in addition to Black Philanthropic awareness and 4) Civic Engagement models and movements via instruction and service days facilitated by Black Greek organizations.  

Outcomes: Statistically significant increases in 1) perception of high school preparedness, 2) cultural knowledge, 3) functional knowledge of personal planning and community organizing methods, 4) academic performance, and 5) number of Black students who take part in school leadership and civic engagement.