Leadership academy for at risk boys 8-16. Founded in 2007 we launched to address the lack of support within mainstream compulsory education for African and Afro Caribbean boys who were underachieving and being disproportionately excluded from school. Our targeted service is for members from this group living in deprived areas of south London, facing multiple barriers to success. Without action they will not reach their potential and can easily end up in gangs or criminality.
It is common that from exclusion the probability of poor life chances rises exponentially. Afro Caribbean boys are lowest performers in obtaining 5 GCSEs A-C, the national expectation. They are also three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school. Access to the most suited schools and out of school activities can be difficult for these families to obtain. More challenging is the lack of positive examples and role models these boys can interact with and benefit from in adolescence.
SYLA has developed a program of mentoring and structured activities to improve self - esteem and develop the character of the young leaders. These activities are delivered through relevant and experienced support workers and volunteers weekly for the academic year, taking place at our centre in Southwark after school and weekends. The local groups and businesses provide speakers that visit and encourage the boys to work hard in their development and contribute towards improving their communities
SYLA's long term strategy is to reduce the need for mental health or criminal justice to be involved with this group enabling them better life chances. As they will be more employable and society will benefit from greater levels of talent and diversity in leading universities and city firms. Increasing we are moving on with the young leaders from solely exploring their self regulation and decision making to their value to their environments with many beginning to desiring to give back.