Denne at Cypher

Empower Community High School: Creating Tomorrow's Leaders

Our Vision, Community

December 6, 2018

Want your students to stand apart from the crowd? Send them to Empower. At Empower, students practice and grow their leadership skills. That's why our missions says "led by students". The future of work requires students to develop not only academic skills but career skills as well. How does Empower Community High School create tomorrow's leaders with today's students? 

Students Have More Freedom to Control Their Educational Experience

In many traditional high school settings, students have very little freedom to make their own choices. They must take the classes they're told to take, learn the things they're told to learn, and follow rules they played no part in creating. At Empower Community High School, we invite our students to take ownership of their educational process. They have the opportunity to help design their education, from projects they lead alongside community partners to the tools they learn to use. Most importantly, no decision that impacts students directly is made without their input.

When students are invited to take part in the process, they develop a number of key skills that make them more effective leaders later. This includes:

  • Strong decision making skills under the pressure of constraints
  • The ability to make their voice heard 
  • The ability to take ownership of decisions and live with the consequences
  • A better understanding of the needs of others and how to integrate those into the decision-making process
  • Executive Functioning Skills to plan for their future, rather than getting stuck on immediate needs 

Students Get Real World Experience

Most high schools are isolated from the rest of the world. While real-world events have the potential to impact learning within the walls of a high school, students typically don't get the opportunity to impact the world around them. At Empower Community High School, we hope to give students real-world experience through project-based learning.

Students have the opportunity to engage with the community. Many of our projects, units, and opportunities allow students to engage with the community outside the high school. They interact with community members, work directly with professionals in the fields they're studying, and deepen their understanding, not just of abstract facts, but of how those facts impact the real word. As a result, students are more confident in their interactions with others and have a better basis for stepping into leadership positions when they eventually take their place in college or a job position.

Students work on projects with real world impact. Students at Empower Community High School don't just work on static projects that are presented in class and then forgotten. Instead, they work on projects that have the potential to change their worlds today. They're given the resources and materials to work directly on projects that have the potential to create genuine change throughout Aurora, Colorado and the world. As a result, students are better prepared to step into a global marketplace and not just play the game, but change the game.

Students are surrounded by diversity at school. One of the most important attributes of a good leader is the ability to take diverse ideas, expectations, and skills of a team and ensure each member's strengths is being used for the good of the team and the project. At ECHS, we build a strong sense of community through a diverse student body and diverse faculty. We work deliberately to encourage differences and invite people of every race, religion, and economic background to join us in our efforts to strengthen our community. As a result, when they leave school, students have already experienced working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Students learn problem-solving skills, not just how to recite information. One of the primary purposes of school is not to cram information into young heads, but to teach young people how to approach different types of problems and come up with solutions that work for everyone involved. At Empower Community High School, we offer our students the opportunity to work on those problems directly, helping them develop key problem-solving skills that will allow them to advance their future careers and projects.

Students have the opportunity to develop their confidence. One of the key hallmarks of a leader is the ability to move forward with confidence. Leaders need to trust their instincts, make good, solid decisions, and guide their team members even when things don't seem to be going well--and our school provides students with the opportunity to build their confidence through their roles in current teams and through integration with the community. Students develop a strong sense of self grounded in their cultural identity.

Students Gain a Rich Perspective

Students who graduate from Empower Community High School emerge into society with a perspective different from their peers in other schools. Instead of rote learning in a classroom, we provide our students with a deeper look into how to learn, how to analyze information, how to work together, and how to work with diverse members of a community. We produce well-rounded individuals who are well-prepared to take on the challenges of the real world and step into leadership roles with confidence. 

Do you want a different high school for your student--one where they will develop leadership skills through project-based learning? If so, contact us today to learn more about Empower Community High School!

Let's Change Education Together