On Track to Success Ujima Initiative
Racially-marginalized youth face additional cultural and racial barriers navigating through secondary and post-secondary schools. The Ujima Initiative is an equity strategy of the On Track to Success (OTTS ) program. The program will be enriching OTTS by providing relevant cultural support and programming to Black youth.
Students in the program will continue to receive On Track to Success supports but will have these added elements from the Ujima program:Community Mentoring: The goal is to build positive character development, peer/family relationships, community relations. Students will be paired with a black mentor volunteer in the community whose supportive relationship will further expand their network of community and caring adults. Students will also have an opportunity to become volunteer mentors themselves. They will have the option to mentor younger students, build upon their organization and leadership skills by helping create events where they can engage with younger students.
Mental Wellness: The goal of this objective is to provide a safe and positive environments where the black students can learn to prioritize their mental health. Students will be regularly meeting with a black mental health service provider in a group setting who will regularly have mental wellness activities, check ins, and/or debriefs with students.
Cultural Exploration Themes: The goal is to educate the students about the elements that binds the black community together. It will also highlight the accomplishments and barriers that have been overcome and ways we can all continue to embrace differences and work together. Each month will have a different theme and there will be some community events where students have experience cultures. Some examples are food exploration, religious exploration, music exploration, Black LGBTQ+ supports, etc.
Social events: The goal is to provide a safe space where black students can relax and come together socially.
Short-Term Outcomes of the Ujima Initiative:Increase in school attendanceDecrease in feelings of isolation (self-reported)Increased knowledge of potential career and education pathwaysIncrease in confidence & self-esteem
Long-Term Outcomes Upon Completion of the Program:Increase in graduation ratesIncreased level of post-secondary enrollmentIncrease in retention and graduation rates of post-secondary students