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Goldbacks in the News! Excelsior Scholars Plan Youth Summit - Invite All to Participate!

Youth Summit News Coverage - Times Herald Record

Newburgh Free Academy students are organizing a local Newburgh leadership summit, planned for May 19, 2018. The Newburgh Youth Summit is part of a local initiative that students at Excelsior Academy are planning as part of their Community Impact Project.

At Excelsior Academy, our students are part of a six-year P-Tech program in partnership with IBM, during which they receive both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.  Global to Local encompasses service-learning and will have yearly requirements for participation and build towards a community-based service-learning project in Newburgh during students’ senior year of high school.   

Excelsior Community Impact Projects: These projects will draw on students’ authentic interests, in conjunction with community needs as revealed during student meetings with local organizations. Each group will have a project leader who has volunteered abroad and a mentor from Mount Saint Mary College’s teacher preparation program. Projects might include anything from planting a community garden to helping supermarkets prevent food waste by partnering with a homeless shelter.  Projects may be proposed by businesses or nonprofit organizations looking for ways to solve real challenges such as a local salon looking to reduce water waste throughout the day, or an animal shelter looking to maximize efficiency by re-designing the way they house stray cats.  Support will be provided for students who want to apply for grant funding for their project.  These projects by upper-classmen will serve as a visible outcome for younger students.  The experience of completing a Community Impact Project will shift the ways in which Excelsior students view and interact with our city and the world.   

All of these Global to Local design elements are created to scaffold student progress and leadership development.  With support from within and beyond our school walls, students will be better prepared to look critically at their city and work to effect positive change in Newburgh.

Last year, students from Excelsior Academy at NFA, North Campus traveled to Ecuador and later celebrated their trip. The NFA program hopes to send another group of students to a different part of the world this summer - Cambodia. All students throughout the district are encouraged to participate in the Youth Summit in some way throughout the day. Information for students to get involved can be found below.

Elise Goings-Perrot, senior, first heard of opportunity to travel to Ecuador with Global to Local in May while doing a River cleanup with her English teachers. “After that, I did everything I could to make sure that it was me going on this trip. My Mom thinks experiences, not material things are the most important thing. And I agree. This trip was a great experience and really opened my eyes.”

For months leading up to their global trip, students fundraise, volunteer, and develop a final project as part of their experience with Global to Local. Last year, students traveled to Ecuador and brought printers, robots, and computers for the after-school program they were working with.

Azariah McLymore, senior and Project Manager for the Youth Summit explains her reasons for participating, “In my younger years, I wasn’t treated the best in school in terms of being made fun of and at the same time, there seemed to be a lot of violence in the city. I wanted to make a difference in a few lives and hopefully they would pass that along to others.”

“Our students have a ton of potential. Our thought is that if we give them an opportunity to see a part of the world, that those experiences will better enable them to come back to their own community to make some real change. Being part of someone else’s culture and environment helps them see their own home though a different lens. We want them to have a place at the table as Newburgh is changing and evolving. We want them to be an active part of that effort.” Ms. Jacqueline Hesse, English Teacher at Newburgh Free Academy, North Campus, Excelsior Academy

“We want our students to feel empowered and feel like these experiences and traveling internationally will allow them to feel this way because as a result, they feel like they have some expertise. They’ll think to themselves, ‘I’ve been some place seen some things and learned some things and here is what I have to offer.’ So, in working with my colleague, we would ask each other: ‘How do we shake up their world enough to make them feel like they have the power to make their own change?’ And we think these projects and working with Global to Local is really doing that.” Ms. Christine McCartney, English Teacher at Newburgh Free Academy, North Campus, Excelsior Academy

Get involved in the Newburgh Youth Summit Event!

High School:

Promotional Video for high school students 


Middle School:

Promotional Video for middle school students

Letter to Middle School teachers

Flyer for Middle School Students


Elementary School:

Flyer for Elementary students

Youth Summit News Coverage - Times Herald Record





TEACHERS: Are you and your students doing something great? Please contact your Communication Strategist. We’d love to attend or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district! Grades PreK-5 Angela Wise (angela.wise@necsd.net) and Grades 6-12 Cassie Sklarz (cassie.sklarz@necsd.net).


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