The CAST program meets for 1.5 interactive sessions for 6 months (20 sessions) for 9th- 12th grades. After the youth returned to school and the Learning Hubs were dismantled, UrbanZone launched CAST in 2021.
Establishing students’ self-assuranceThe goal is to build students’ confidence both inside and outside the classroom, by learning skills that strengthen and improve learning. To accomplish this, we have created a consistent, intentional, programmatic way to enhance their academic abilities. The partnership with KVCC, KydNet, and Kalamazoo Public Library has been successful and empowering for the youth as they become exposed and challenged to consider higher education as part of their future.
- Lectures—Educational lectures and experiential learning for academic development.
- Videos—Instructional videos assist students in learning strategies, techniques, public speaking, and principles of leadership and core values.
- Groupwork—Small group work explores, discusses and develops ideas, and will focus on planning group presentations and learning peer listening skills.
- Fieldtrip—Upon completion of the program, students in good standing will work collaboratively to select a destination for a group fieldtrip.
- Recognize visual or vocal signs of mental health in a friend or family member.
- Practice and refine ways to talk to a friend or family member about mental health, as well as learn how to get help.
- Identify when to get an adult involved in a mental health situation.
- Understand how mindfulness and yoga techniques may be helpful when struggling with mental health situations.
- Share helpful mental health or professional resources and mindfulness acts with friends or family members.
- Prepare a Mind Health Ambassador (MHA) Engagement Plan to support friends or family members in crisis.
January – June 2022
$100 Completion Award
Finish Your Semester Strong
Increase Your Confidence
Build Your Connections
Improve Your Academics
Field Trip Award
August – December 2022
- $250 Completion Award
- College Tours
- College-Prep Presentations
- Tutor Support
- Social Emotional Learning
- Field Trip Award
Application closes on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. Click the link to apply.
Build confidence both inside and outside the classroom, by learning skills that strengthen and improve learning.
- Kalamazoo County Students (Grades 9-12)
- Up to $250 in awards
- All students are eligible to apply
The program will be presented in 1.5 hour interactive sessions over 20 sessions (6 months).
Students MUST commit to BOTH phases! Spots are limited!
CAST Phase 1 was a great success
Team members took the time during each session to gather a better understanding of what they desire their future to look like. During the program, students were intentional with becoming aware of their academic and personal goals. Each session was filled with an eagerness to learn. Students were equipped with tools and resources to help them improve their organizational skills, test-taking skills, personal development, and leadership skills.
Building intentional awareness of academic and personal goals
With our collaboration with KVCC, CAST students gained a better understanding of the academic requirements needed for college admission. They had the opportunity to talk with a panel of current college students who shared their personal experiences about balancing their personal lives and their academics while continuing to do those things that they enjoy. With this information, students were able to obtain the importance of their social and emotional state of being. KVCC’s financial aid department provided a session to CAST and their parents on the financial responsibility of attending college; giving each participant a better understanding of the financial aid process.
CAST students have been equipped to start the summer with a strategy to continue on their journey of casting their vision for the future.