Fellow: Joe Greenberg
Host: Rosedale Freedom Project
Project: Reevaluating the Efficacy of After-School Programming
For LEE member Joe Greenberg, student success is not just about hard-skill growth. How can leaders tell the full story of student progress and opportunities?
As a Policy Advisor Fellow for the Rosedale Freedom Project, Joe Greenberg in Mississippi focused on reshaping student data-tracking.
“After-school programs inspire and engage students in different ways than the classroom. Yet, many programs are forced to use the same data-tracking methods as school. This has become ineffective––misrepresenting the larger affect extracurricular programs can have on students. By tracking soft-skill growth, I sought to give programs like the Rosedale Freedom Project and their donors a more accurate snapshot of the social, political, and professional progress students made in after-school programming and their greater effect on the community,” he explains.
Joe’s goal was to unearth the Rosedale Freedom Project’s (RFP) impact on students’ ambitions, empowerment, and achievements and the project was able to morph as needs were realized.
By using the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) structure, they were able to focus on their long-term goal, while crafting the short-term steps to get there and their data-tracking system was ready for use by the beginning of students’ second semester.
“My passion for this project was driven by the students. Their impact on their communities and families was powerful. I knew data could show how after-school programs were the catalyst for students to make this change,” he shares.
The metrics Joe created will be important to the program’s long-term success as they will be included into grant-proposals and could create a better measurement of the RFP’s impact on the surrounding communities.
“My goal was to create a solid backbone for the Rosedale Freedom Project, as they empowered students to demand community action and advocacy. Donors needed a better grasp on the students’ growth as advocates. Finding the catalyst behind students’ success could create a better blueprint for other programs, nationwide.”
Supporting the Rosedale Freedom Project was an eye-opening experience for Joe.
“Incorporating other after-school programs into the process allowed me to view the full breadth of issues plaguing after-school programs. Extracurricular organizations empowering students are crucial forces for change. These projects and groups need support. But donors judge the efficacy of these organizations with outmoded methods,” he explains.
The experience has stoked his passion for the work of combating education inequity and the importance of programs like PAF.
“The education system is one of the only institutions that the majority of Americans interact with everyday, and it continues to fail them. Pervasive issues have been left unsolved, festering in small pockets of every state. Political negligence has bred a cycle of destitution and disenfranchisement for generations of students, families, and communities. By motivating local students to become advocates, Policy Advisor Fellows have a long-lasting, positive impact in schools and communities.”
Get your foot in the policy and advocacy door — gain experience tackling real-world challenges impacting students. Apply for the Policy Advisor Fellowship —a six-month, part-time program in which a LEE member serves as a policy advisor to a senior LEE member.
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